Meeting for, like, the seventh time in the last five days or something equally insane and unnecessary, the Bruins once again handled the Sabres, this time at TD Garden and by a 5-2 final.
Most importantly, Boston’s win combined with the Rangers’ 4-0 loss on Thursday night extended the B’s lead for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division to six points. (The Bruins also have two games in hand over the Blueshirts.)
On the way to that victory on Garden ice, the B’s attack featured five different scorers, and with goals at all three strengths, to go with a 29-of-31 performance in net from goaltender Tuukka Rask.
David Pastrnak opened things up at the 1:16 mark of the period, and though a brutal turnover from Pastrnak at the Boston blue gave a goal back to Buffalo, a last-second goal from David Krejci gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes of action.
The Sabres knotted things up less than two minutes into the third period, but the Bruins put themselves back in front with a goal a long time coming, as Charlie Coyle stormed towards the Sabres’ Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for his first goal in 29 games.
Charlie Coyle buries his first goal since Feb. 28.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 30, 2021
3-2 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/TjYYuEfY4y
That staggering drought was the longest of Coyle’s National Hockey League career, but it certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying (especially on Thursday night), and it wasn’t something that weighed on the Weymouth, Mass. native.
“It’s not about me and scoring goals, it’s about the team winning,” said Coyle. “It’s about me bringing what I need for the team to play well. It’s not something that was weighing on me because it’s not about me. It’s about the team.”
The Bruins’ night was not complete without another downright sick goal from the Krejci-Taylor Hall combination, however, as Krejci deked the entire Sabres franchise and sucked the souls of their bodies before dishing to Hall for an easy finish.
Brad Marchand, meanwhile, added the empty-net dagger to give the B’s their second straight victory, and their sixth in seven 2021 head-to-heads with the Sabres.
Craig Smith, who was considered a game-time decision after COVID testing issues kept him off the ice Thursday morning, suited up and played in this contest, which kept Jake DeBrusk out of action as a healthy scratch.
The Bruins will conclude their season series with the Sabres on Saturday.