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Talking Points: Kinkaid, Bergeron, Zboril Clutch; Bruins Win 3-1

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Let’s be honest here, the Boston Bruins had no business beating the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. But when you’re off to an historic start and seem to have more depth than the 1971 Boston Bruins or the 1986 Boston Celtics, you win games you’re not supposed to win. That’s what happened on Saturday night in Buffalo as the Bruins stole a 3-1 win from the Sabres.

GOLD STAR: Keith Kinkaid. In his first regular season start for the Boston Bruins, the journeyman backup, king of emojis and the man with the Happy Gilmore mask was brilliant for the Bruins. More importantly, he was brilliant in a game that the team in front of him simply didn’t have it much of the game in their first flat game of the season. Kinkaid was especially clutch early in the third period when the Sabres were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the Bruins. The 33-year-old out of Union College, who was never drafted, kept the home team at bay and gave his team a chance to win. He finished with 30 saves and let it be known that the next time the Bruins need a start in a pinch, he’s game.

BLACK EYE: That first period by the Boston Bruins Saturday night may have been the worst period of the 2022-23 regular season. The Buffalo Sabres, losers of four-straight, came into this game as if this was a playoff game and the Bruins as if it was an optional skate. The Bruins were out-shot 10-5 in the first period but thankfully only one shot beat goalie Keith Kinkaid. That being said what led to that goal by Tage Thompson was embarrassing and the result of some solid scouting by the Sabres who seemed ready for the Bruins power play.

TURNING POINT: For pretty much the first half of this game, the Boston Bruins were laying a dud. Somehow, they were only down a goal and when Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron got one by Sabres goalie Craig Anderson at 18:51 of the second period, that seemed to have the Sabres asking themselves ‘WTF?’

From there on, it was the Bruins’ game to win.

HONORABLE MENTION: Oh Captain, my captain! In a game they had no business winning, Kinkaid gave the Boston Bruins a chance to win and Patrice Bergeron happily obliged. As referenced as the ‘Turning point’ above, Bergeron had the game-tying goal on the powerplay at 18:51 of the second period, and then got the insurance goal of the third period. Bergeron now has seven lamplighters and once again proved what a leader he is.

Extra honorable mention to Boston Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril, who in his 65th game, scored his first NHL goal and what turned out to be the game-winner.

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 92 – Per NESN, this 13-2-0 start is the best start the Boston Bruins have had in 92 years.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think resilience. Finding a way to win hockey games. It’s not always going to be your ‘A game’ and I think it definitely wasn’t. I’m not sure if it was a A or B game tonight; first 40 was tough and I thought the third was a lot better and we got the result. A lot of great saves by Kinkaid got us going and got the lead.” – Patrice Bergeron on how his team pulled out the win.

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Derek

When the goalie wins the Gold Star two games in a row, it’s not a good thing.

Chuck Rose

It is when the team won both games. No it wasn’t their best game vs Buffalo, but it was a war against Calgary.

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