Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 7-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres at the KeyBank Center on Sunday afternoon.
GOLD STAR: On a day when the Boston Bruins had seven different goal-scorers, it would be easy to go in a number of different directions. You could easily give the honors to Jeremy Swayman as well after back-to-back shutouts. But Jake DeBrusk was outstanding on Sunday afternoon with a goal and four points along with a plus-4 rating in 11:57 of ice time. DeBrusk was part of the first period onslaught that essentially took the Sabres right out of the game early, but he was active throughout as the B’s pushed things out of reach. Hampus Lindholm also scored a goal and finished with a plus-4 rating and Connor Clifton and Charlie McAvoy also put together multi-point games on Boston’s back end. But give it to DeBrusk, who continues to put the finishing touches on a strong season where he would have hit 30 goals for the first time if he hadn’t been injured in the Winter Classic.
BLACK EYE: Boo to NHL linesmen Bevan Mills and Mark Shewchyk for breaking up a second period fight between Trent Frederic and Dylan Cozens way, way too early. Cozens had got a couple of early shots on Frederic before the Bruins power forward got a better handle on the Buffalo center and landed a few big overhand shots and was just beginning to gather some momentum when they stepped in and broke things up. That hardly seems fair to let Frederic take a bunch of shots and then step in as the tide was turning, but that is today’s NHL where the referees and linesmen are looking for any excuse to step in and break things up. Boo, I say!
Trent Frederic and Dylan Cozens drop the gloves. pic.twitter.com/9y2qjPFwGN
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 19, 2023
TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins came right out and dominated the Sabres from puck drop. Patrice Bergeron scored 15 seconds into the game and sent a loud and clear message to Buffalo and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen that it was going to be a long afternoon at the KeyBank Center. Garnet Hathaway and Jake DeBrusk added a couple more goals on seven shots in the first period to really build up a very strong start and had the Sabres essentially waving the white flag and giving up against them in the third period for the second straight meeting between these two Atlantic Division rivals. Once again it feels like the Boston Bruins are playing their game with strong starts and even stronger finishes while overwhelming teams.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Coyle has been a steady player for the Boston Bruins this season and he had one of his better games on Sunday afternoon as he stepped up and scored while putting together a multi-point game. Coyle set up Jake DeBrusk for a goal in the first period and he buried one from the slot late in the third after Charlie McAvoy controlled the puck behind the net before dishing it off into the slot area for Coyle. Coyle finished with the goal, two points, two shots on net and won 9-of-12 faceoffs in 17:56 of ice time along with a plus-2 rating. There were several Boston Bruins players with big games on Sunday afternoon and Coyle was absolutely among them amidst a big weekend overall from the Bruins.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – an assist for Jakub Zboril in his first game suiting up for the Boston Bruins since Feb. 23 and only his third game since before Thanksgiving. It doubled his point output for the year and keeps the young D-man sharp in case they need him at any point down the stretch.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We knew we had one more and it would have been a good road trip if we got the win [against Buffalo]. We were excited to go home so we came out with a lot of jam. It was a great game. We just have a really good team and we believe in each other.” –Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton to NESN after the win over Buffalo.