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‘Disappointing’ End To 2022 For Boston Bruins In OT Loss

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BOSTON – There’s no other way to slice it than it was a “disappointing” end to a 2022 calendar year with some significant highs for the Boston Bruins.

The Boston Bruins could justifiably be accused of looking past the Buffalo Sabres to Monday’s Winter Classic against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park, but just as much they ran into a hot-as-Hades, hungry hockey team that’s now won six in a row and took them down by a 4-3 overtime score at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon.

The Bruins had their chances, including a 5-on-3 power play late in the third period after successive high-sticking calls, but didn’t take advantage of them and then watched as they lost in overtime with their best players on the ice.

It was a bitter pill for the Boston Bruins to blow a 3-2 lead with a goal late in the third period when they have been so good at closing teams out, but it’s also a sign of inconsistency creeping into Boston’s game as of late.

After rolling through the regular season through the first few months, the Bruins have lost five of their last 13 games. Four of the five are shootout or OT losses and winning eight out of 13 is still pretty darn good, but it’s also clear that the Bruins aren’t quite as dominant as they were earlier in the season.

The Boston Bruins still haven’t lost at home in regulation headed into the outdoor game at Fenway Park, but Saturday afternoon’s loss was another piece of evidence that the B’s aren’t exactly clicking on all cylinders like they were earlier in the season.

“Disappointing finish,” admitted Brad Marchand after it was over. “We had our hands all around it and kind of squandered it with a couple PP’s late. So, that’s on us, we should’ve been much better in that situation.

“We talked in between the second and knew that we had more to give. Once, we got that goal to tie it up, I think we all got a little extra motivation, a little hunger, but unfortunately, we dropped the ball there late, but I think it all felt good in the third.”

Marchand walked the walk in the third period with a breakaway goal that tied up the game and put the momentum squarely in Boston’s corner, but they couldn’t close out the game while outshooting Buffalo by a 19-8 margin.

Instead, a leaky goal from Jeremy Swayman, on a quick Dylan Cozens shot that seemed to surprise him, in the final two minutes allowed the Sabres to tie things up and push it into overtime where anything can happen. It was disappointing given that Swayman had been pretty good as of late, and the goal allowed was a bad moment at a key spot in a game with two points on the line.

The overtime game-winner for Alex Tuch saw Patrice Bergeron get the puck turned over on him in the offensive zone, and then Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Hampus Lindholm were chasing for the rest of the OT shift before Tuch ultimately buried a shot after Dylan Cozens snapped the puck up from Bergeron and carried it up ice.

“I thought it was a good third, but with that being said, I think we’re in a game where we’ve got to be better,” said Patrice Bergeron. “We’re not managing pucks well and that’s when teams take it to us. We’ve definitely got to rectify that.

“I think the third was a good period today – to get back in the game and get the lead — but there’s pockets in the game where we need to be better, and we have to do better.”

 

 

 

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