Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins following their solid 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Thursday night.
GOLD STAR: It’s got to be Charlie Coyle snapping a 28-game goal-scoring drought for the game-winner in the third period amidst a very solid game on the third line wing. Coyle has been struggling offensively for some time, and there were even calls from some corners of B’s fandom to have him sit in the press box for a game or two just as Jake DeBrusk is doing right now. But Coyle has continued to contribute in other ways even when the goals weren’t coming and that kept him in the lineup. And he finally busted through with a strong all-around game before stripping Sam Reinhart, putting him on his hip as he drove to the Buffalo net and then finishing up with a goal under the bar. It was a beauty of a goal that showed off everything Coyle can do when he’s at his best and topped off an evening where he had four shots on net, a hit and three takeaways in 16:10 of ice time to go along with the goal.
BLACK EYE: A rough go of it for Rasmus Dahlin, who got pushed around and targeted by Brad Marchand after taking a hooking penalty, finished a minus-3 for the game and was faked out of his shoes by David Krejci for the pretty Taylor Hall goal late in the third period. Dahlin has had some decent moments for the Sabres in the second half of the season as they’ve been playing the spoiler role, but tonight wasn’t one of them with the two giveaways, the meager two shots on net and some plays where he was exploited by the Bruins in the Buffalo defensive zone. The minus-37 for the season is pretty indicative of how difficult things have been for him in Buffalo this season, and Thursday night against the Bruins was no different.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins got out to the 1-0 lead on a David Pastrnak one-timer strike but started to sink into a little bit of a lull afterward as Buffalo carried most of the play in the middle of the first period. But the Bruins finished strong at the end of the first punctuated by David Krejci finishing off a sweet no-look pass from Charlie Coyle with a one-timer that beat Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen with just 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock. The goal was a gut punch for the Sabres even as they tied things up in the second period and sent a message to Buffalo that the Bruins are competing hard for the up-for-grab points here at the end of the season.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci has been electric offensively since Taylor Hall was paired up with him on the second line, and they were at it again in the third period with Krejci feeding Hall for a wide-open goal after toe-dragging the Buffalo defense into oblivion in front of the net. The Boston Bruins playmaker also scored a buzzer beater goal right at the end of the first period on a one-timer at the very end of a PP possession for the Black and Gold. Krejci finished with a goal and two points, a plus-1 rating and four shot attempts in 15:32 of ice time while going 6-for-12 in the face-off circle. Krejci now has six goals and 10 points in 10 games since the NHL trade deadline and there’s a very clear connection between Hall’s arrival and his offensive resurgence.
Playoff Krejci is feeling the postseason within reach https://t.co/KMuZbL0t3K
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 30, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: 28 – the number of games without a goal for Charlie Coyle before he scored a third period tally against the Sabres. It represented the longest slump of Coyle’s NHL career.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He’s re-energized in terms of attacking. The biggest thing is that he’s playing with a little more pace and I think his wingers are forcing him to do that.” – Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on the difference in David Krejci since the NHL trade deadline.