Things started slow between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins, as is sometimes the case with so much hype surrounding one game.
But then the puck dropped on the second period and the goals began piling up. Thomas Vanek scored a hat trick and added two assists for a five-point game, as the Sabres outlasted the Bruins by a score of 7-4.
The Bruins enjoyed leads of 3-1 and 4-3, before the Sabres roared back with four unanswered goals in the third period.
The big story coming into the game was whether the Sabres would seek retribution on Bruins bruising forward Milan Lucic for running goalie Ryan Miller last year.
Say for this Shawn Thornton-John Scott heavyweight fight less than three minutes into the first period, both teams kept their relative cool, combining for a grand total of 26 penalty minutes.
The loss in the Bruins’ first in regulation this season, but it could prove more costly.
Patrice Bergeron also left the game after being spun into the boards, the Bruins Twitter account reported.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reported Bergeron returned to the game.
Haggerty also reported, based on an indication from head coach Claude Julien, that Daniel Paille was being evaluated after taking a high stick in the third period.