The Boston Bruins needed a third-period comeback, then overtime, to get by the woeful Sabres last night in Buffalo.
Despite the welcome two points for Boston, it wasn’t the dominant performance many were expecting against arguably the worst team in the NHL.
Overall, though, B’s coach Claude Julien was happy with the result, and to get back to .500 (6-6-0).
“We have to be careful of those games. Buffalo played by far their best game of the year and that’s coming from their organization, their team members and all of that stuff,” said Julien, per CSN New England. “This is the NHL. There are no easy games in the league. I know we want to look at the standings and say ‘Wow, we just barely got past these guys.’ Our skating and forecheck was probably not at the top of what we expect, which means our back pressure suffered.
“Our skating game wasn’t at its best. But we still broke out of our end much better, and we didn’t give them much. In our books they had about four scoring chances at even strength, and we gave them just three shots in the second period. So there were things to build off of. [Buffalo] came to play.”
Missing injured defensemen Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, the Bruins played last night with one blue-liner, Joe Morrow, who was making his NHL debut, and a couple of others — Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky — who don’t have much more NHL experience than Morrow.
Yet even with all that inexperience on the back end, the B’s still managed to limit Buffalo to just 15 shots, compared to Boston’s 37.
So actually, in terms of the shot disparity, the Bruins did end up dominating. The thing is, much of that disparity was built in the third period, with the Sabres trying to protect a 2-1 lead and the B’s desperate to avoid an embarrassing defeat. Other teams have dominated Buffalo right from the start.
“We’re a .500 team right now, and the guys are still trying to find that confidence level that comes with winning on a regular basis,” said Julien. “So it’s something to build on, and we’ve got a bigger test [Saturday at home to Ottawa].”