Bruins tie series 1-1 with 5-3 win over Sabres


Boston Bruins 5, Buffalo Sabres 3; Series tied 1-1

Well, that was an odd one, wasn’t it? The Boston Bruins took NBC’s first 2010 playoff game this afternoon 5-3 in a game that may come back to haunt the Buffalo Sabres.

At first, it seemed like it was going to be a leisurely stroll through Limp Offense Park for the Sabres. While the Bruins seemingly tripped over their own feet, Buffalo took what looked like a commanding 2-0 lead in the first period (after all, the last game ended 2-1 right?). The scope of the game seemed to change in the second period when Ryan Miller allowed a pop-up goal. Soon after, the game was suddenly 2-2 while the Sabres went from red-hot to eerily blank.

That being said, the Sabres went up 3-2 at the end of the second period, prompting everyone (myself included) to reference their death grip on late leads. Still, the oddness remained in the air from the second period. The Bruins scored two goals in exactly two (hockey) minutes to take a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.

Ultimately, the Bruins scored an empty net goal to complete their 5-1 run during the second and third periods. Now, it’s worth noting that losing home ice advantage as you go into Boston is less imposing than one might think; after all, the Bruins finished a paltry 18-17-6 in Beantown during the regular season. That being said, the Sabres could be without their leading goal scorer Tomas Vanek, who left today’s game after crashing into the boards. Two tough losses in one bad afternoon for Buffalo.

Who knows, this might just be a rare slip-up in a feel-good journey for Miller and Co. My guess is that whether this series ends in 5, 6 or 7, the Bruins won’t make things easy, though. Remember: this is the playoffs. Anything can happen. The Bruins can even play in a wild, semi-high scoring game.

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    McIntyre takes over in goal as Wild chase Subban from Bruins crease

    Malcolm Subban
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    Goalie issues continue in Boston.

    With both starting netminder Tuukka Rask and back-up Anton Khudobin both out of the lineup due to injury, Malcolm Subban was recalled from the AHL and given the start Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.

    But Subban, making his second career NHL start, allowed three goals on 16 shots and was pulled from the crease, giving way to his AHL teammate and fellow emergency recall Zane McIntyre.

    Minnesota scored three times in the span of 5:29, which resulted in an early exit for Subban, the 24th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

    Subban’s lone NHL start didn’t go well, either. He gave up three goals on six shots in 31 minutes.

    Video: Stamkos lights up Leafs during first game in Toronto since re-signing with Bolts

    PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 15:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning takes a break during a off-day practice session prior to Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 15, 2016 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    For those Maple Leafs fans who once hoped Steven Stamkos would go to free agency and sign in Toronto, what transpired Tuesday will probably sting for a bit.

    Playing in Toronto for the first time since he re-signed with the Lightning, opting not to test the open market and potentially signing with what is essentially his hometown team, Stamkos scored 1:19 into the contest, after getting sent in alone and beating goalie Frederik Andersen.


    That one might hurt.

    There was even a smattering of boos directed at Stamkos, who has never played a game for the Leafs, when he first touched the puck during Tuesday’s contest.

    You’ll recall that last season, the Stamkos-to-Toronto speculation dominated headlines at times. A bit of a “circus,” indeed.

    There were even ‘Sign Stamkos’ signs being handed out to fans prior to a game between the Lightning and Maple Leafs last season.

    It’s official: Crosby makes season debut for Penguins

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 18, 2015 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    All signs pointed to it happening earlier in the day, but it is now official: Sidney Crosby is making his 2016-17 debut on Tuesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Florida Panthers.

    Crosby, the captain of the Penguins and the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner, missed the first six games of the season due to a concussion. He was injured during practice following the World Cup of Hockey where he led Canada to a championship. Given how much time he missed a few years ago with a concussion only missing six games a positive development for both him and the Penguins.

    Crosby will open the game skating on the Penguins’ top line alongside wingers Patric Hornqvist and Scott Wilson.

    Along with Crosby return to the lineup, goaltender Matt Murray is also in uniform for the Penguins for the first time this season and will serve as Marc-Andre Fleury‘s backup.

    Murray, who took over the starting job in the playoffs last year when Fleury was sidelined at the start of the first round, was injured at the World Cup while playing for Team North America and has been sidelined since.

    Even with the return of Crosby and Murray on Tuesday the Penguins are still missing a pretty significant player as defenseman Kris Letang remains sidelined with an upper body injury.

    WATCH LIVE: Sabres at Flyers

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 11: Radko Gudas #3 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Jake McCabe #29 of the Buffalo Sabres fight in the third period at Wells Fargo Center on February 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers won 5-1.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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    The Buffalo Sabres visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. This match-up features two teams off to slow starts and looking to work their way up the standings in their respective divisions.

    You can check out the action on NBCSN or the NBC Sports’ Live Extra (7:30 pm ET).


    Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

    Flyers put Raffl (upper body) on IR

    NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Flyers; Ducks vs. Sharks

    Bylsma: ‘We need to get more’ out of Reinhart