Through two games, the Bruins are not letting a rare three-game set in Buffalo go to waste, as the team collected another two points for the second time in three nights — and sixth straight game overall — with a 5-1 win over the Sabres.
It was about as complete a team effort as the Bruins could have asked for, too, with goals from five different scorers, and with 12 different Boston skaters finishing the evening with at least one point by the night’s end.
Boston began this game singing a familiar tune, as it was a Brad Marchand goal that opened things up for the Bruins, good for his 25th goal of the season, and his 12th goal of the month overall. Those 12 tallies this month are the most in the NHL, and Marchand stormed ahead of Artemi Panarin for the most points in the NHL this month with a two-point night overall.
And after the Sabres tied things up at the 5:27 mark of the second period, a Matt Grzelcyk shot through Dustin Tokarski just 7:23 later put the Bruins back on top, and they simply never looked back.
With a one-goal edge to their name through 40 minutes, the Bruins built on their lead in the third period with goals from David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie, and an insurance goal’s insurance goal with a David Krejci tally with 1:58 left in the game.
David Pastrnak fires home his 18th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/XzjRjOCq15— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 23, 2021
“Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for him because he’s fought it a little bit lately,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Pastrnak’s tally. “Maybe a game like this is what he needs to get going.”
The Bruins also have to be happy with finally getting something out of their new-look third line with Charlie Coyle between Jake DeBrusk and Ritchie, too, by way of Ritchie’s first goal in 13 games.
“We’ve been kind of thrown together for the last week and a half, and we’ve had some ups and downs,” Ritchie admitted. “Tonight was, I think, one of our better games. We were getting in on the forecheck and getting some pucks back. Hopefully we can build off this and keep it moving forward.”
Ritchie’s goal also came with a milestone for Coyle, as the assist gave him the 300th point of his NHL career.
In net, Jeremy Swayman turned aside all but one of the 30 shots thrown his way by the Sabres en route to his fifth win of the season. With the win, Swayman improved his 2021 save percentage from a staggering .938 to an all-world .943.
Swayman got some help from the Boston penalty kill, too, as the Bruins killed off all five power-play opportunities against, and have now gone a perfect 11-for-11 down a man since landing in Buffalo earlier this week.
The six-game winning streak is a new season-high for the Bruins, while their winning streak over the Sabres, which dates back to Dec. 2018, was extended to 10 games. It’s the longest streak in the history of the head-to-head between the rivals.
The Bruins will wrap up their three-game set in Buffalo with a Friday night rematch.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.