After defeating the Winnipeg Jets in regulation two days prior, the Buffalo Sabres were able to notch their second straight regulation win on Thursday, Dec. 19 with a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The Sabres started the scoring late in the first period with a shorthanded goal by Brian Flynn, with defenseman Mike Weber serving a four minute double-minor after a tussle with Bruins forward Milan Lucic, who in turn had received a single two-minute penalty. Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was unable to keep the puck in the offensive zone, and Flynn started back the other way on a breakaway from the Sabres own blue line. Flynn then skated into the offensive zone and let a backhand shot go from the left hash marks just outside the slot that beat Bruins goalie Chad Johnson, giving the Sabres a 1-0 lead with 3:33 remaining in the opening frame.
The Bruins would come back with a shorthanded goal of their own though, with Brad Marchand tying the game early in the second period. After Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain dumped the puck into the offensive zone down the right wing boards and along the back wall while on the power play, Johnny Boychuk took control of the puck for the Bruins behind their own net. Boychuck then sent a pass off the boards up the right wing to Brad Marchand, opening up a 2-on-1 with Patrice Bergeron with McBain as the lone Sabre back. Marchand then skated into the other offensive zone along with Bergeron, and instead of passing elected to fire a wrist shot on net that beat Ryan Miller down low to even the score at one 1:50 into the second period.
Marchand would then score again merely 1:14 later to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. After taking a pass from Patrice Bergeron from the top of the left faceoff circle, Marchand one-timed a slapshot from the upper left edge of the right faceoff circle that beat Ryan Miller over his shoulder and went into the top far corner of the net.
The Bruins would hold onto the lead for a little over fourteen minutes before Marcus Foligno knotted it back up. With the Sabres entering the neutral zone on a 4-on-2 rush, Foligno sent a pass over to defenseman Jamie McBain at center ice, who then quickly passed it to Matt D’Agostini on the right wing. D’Agostini then exchanged several quick passes with defenseman McBain on their way into offensive zone and to the right faceoff circle before McBain took a slapshot from just inside the circle that found its way to Folgino just inside the goal crease. Foligno then tapped the puck past Chad Johnson to tie the score at two apiece with 2:49 remaining in the second period.
Drew Stafford would eventually give the Sabres a 3-2 lead 14:19 into the third period. Ville Leino skated into the offensive zone and sent a pass over to Stafford on the right wing just inside the blue line. Stafford then skated to the net on the right side, wrapped around behind the net, and stuck the puck in the net on the left side before Chad Johnson could get a piece of it.
The Sabres would get some insurance 1:20 later when defenseman Tyler Myers scored to put them up 4-2. After taking a pass from Marcus Foligno, Brian Flynn headed up the ice on a 2-on-1 with Matt D’Agostini. After entering the offensive zone, Flynn skated to the left faceoff dot before sending a pass back to Tyler Myers, who was trailing on the play. Myers then wristed a shot from just inside the right faceoff circle that eluded Chad Johnson to give the Sabres a 4-2 lead with 4:21 left to play.
The Sabres were then able to hold on for the 4-2 victory, their second straight in regulation, after defeating the Winnipeg Jets by the exact same score on Tuesday.
After the win, the Sabres are now 9-23-3 on the season, with four of their nine wins coming in regulation. With 21 points in the standings, they still sit in last place in the entire NHL.
Ryan Miller stopped 34 of 36 Bruins shots in the win, and is now 8-17-0 on the season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.83 goals against average.
Sabres forward Cody Hodgson left the game with an upper-body injury late in the first period and did not return.
It was then reported during the second period that the Sabres had acquired 26-year-old forward Linus Omark from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a conditional sixth-round draft pick.
Drafted 97th overall by the Oilers in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL draft, Omark has played 66 games with the team since 2010, including one this season. In those 66 games, Omark has eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points, while also recording 34 penalty minutes and a minus-22 rating. He has 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 29 games this with the Oilers AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, while being held scoreless with a minus-1 rating in his one game with the Oilers back in November.
The Sabres next game is in Boston on Saturday, Dec. 21 for a rematch against the Bruins at 7 p.m. Eastern. It is not yet known the extent of Cody Hodgson's injury or whether he or Linus Omark will be in the Sabres lineup, or if Omark will be assigned to the Rochester Americans.