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Tuukka Rask and Bruins Earn Shutout Against Struggling Sabres

Bruins vs. Sabres

The Boston Bruins’ earned their fifth consecutive win in a shutout against the still struggling Buffalo Sabres. “Everything’s been clicking,” said Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask who made 32 saves Tuesday.

In the first of a three-game series between Boston and Buffalo, the Sabres created many promising scoring chances. However, the Bruins came away with the only goal of the first period. Rask made several notable glove saves against various Sabres skaters who made good shots. 

But it was Brad Marchand who scored the only goal of the first period about eight minutes in, on a backhanded shot assisted by David Pastrnak and Mike Reilly. 

While the Bruins had the only goal, the Sabres had the only power play of the first period. Jake DeBrusk served a minor penalty for hooking against Anders Bjork.

Bruins score again in second

Connor Clifton recorded a goal in the second period with Sean Kuraly and Curtis Lazar recording assists. However it was the Sabres’ goaltender, Dustin Tokarski, who actually caused the puck to cross the goal line by accidentally pushing the puck into the net with his skate as he backed further into the crease. 

Bruins vs. Sabres
Image courtesy of NHL.com

Both teams saw some power play time in the second period. First, the Bruins’ Brad Marchand received a penalty for elbowing against Henri Jokiharju. Then, as Boston was on the power play, Rasmus Ristolainen received a penalty call for roughing against Jeremy Lauzon. Ristolainen skated over to a group of players who were gathered around the goal and knocked Lauzon over. This resulted in a brief four-on-four.

The Bruins went on another power play early in the third period, when Drake Caggiula served a penalty for interference against David Pastrnak. This was Caggiula’s first game with the Sabres, since getting traded from the Arizona Coyotes.. 

Later, the Sabres got a power play of their own when the Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy received a penalty for roughing against Jeff Skinner. McAvoy had been sort of shoving Skinner in playing defense, presumably. Officials called the penalty when the interaction continued after the whistle to stop play. 

Shortly into the power play, the Sabres’ Sam Reinhart received a penalty for tripping against Clifton, who fell hard and remained on the ice for a bit. Boston’s trainer came out and determined he was okay.

With about seven minutes left in the game, the Sabres got another power play when Craig Smith’s stick went up into Mattias Samuelsson’s visor, earning him a penalty call for high-sticking. 

Sabres get six-on-three power play

The Sabres got a chance for a big comeback when Nick Ritchie served a penalty for tripping against Jacob Bryson, who had been in the middle of making a long pass across the ice.

Buffalo called a time-out to discuss in preparation for the power play that would take up most of the remaining time in the game. 

About 30 seconds later, Jeremy Lauzon made quite a high hit on Victor Olofsson. Officials called a roughing penalty on this hit, resulting in a five-on-three. Buffalo pulled Tokarski, their goaltender, to add an extra skater making it six-on-three.

However, officials noticed that the Sabres ended up actually having seven players on the ice at one time. The Sabres’ Skinner then served a penalty for the remaining 53 seconds of the game for having too many men on the ice. 

Tuukka Rask earned a shutout with 32 saves. Despite a few commendable trips into the offensive zone, the Sabres did not leave the game with any goals. 

Taylor Hall, who was traded to the Bruins from the Sabres April 12, made several shots on goal, but did not score. Even though he did not score Tuesday, Hall has currently scored the same amount of goals in only eight days with the Bruins as he had in his 37 games with the Sabres prior to the trade: 2.

With this win, the Bruins earned two points in the playoff standings. This extends their lead over the New York Rangers, who are directly behind them, contending for the East Division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Immediately following the end of this game, the Bruins have 58 points while the Rangers have 52. 

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