The Bruins had a home letdown on Saturday night, making a late push but ultimately falling to the last-place Buffalo Sabres 4-2 at TD Garden. It's just the second loss in the last 11 games for the B's as a slow start, turnovers, and missed opportunities did them in.
Benoit Pouliot ended up with the game-winning goal, putting the Sabres up 3-1 after two periods. Late in the third, David Backes gave the Bruins hope when he scored on a deflection with just 59 seconds left. But Buffalo held off a closing surge and Rasmus Ristolainen nailed an empty-net goal from nearly the length of the ice to put the game away for good.
After a scoreless first period, Evander Kane lit the lamp first when Sam Reinhart capitalized on a David Pastrnak turnover and found Kane for a breakaway. The struggling winger beat Tuukka Rask high glove-side for his first goal in 15 games.
Scott Wilson made it 2-0 just 5:02 later off a puck that deflected off Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. But Ryan Spooner answered 1:55 after that with his ninth goal of the season, finishing a pinpoint backhand pass from rookie Jake DeBrusk:
Despite the win, the Sabres are just 16-29-10 and remain in last place in the Eastern Conference by five points.
Although the Bruins trailed in shots by just one at 28-27, they failed to cash in on four power play opportunities. They also had 18 total giveaways to the Sabres' 6.
Boston also had a chance to pull within a point of the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. Instead, Tampa defeated the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday to move to 38-14-3 and increase their lead over the B's to five points, 79-74.
The B's (33-12-8) are still 9-2 in their last 11 games, but have a quick turnaround as they head to New Jersey for a Sunday night game against the Devils (27-19-8, 62 points). Anton Khudobin will start in net with the Bruins looking to rebound.
-- By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].