B’s drop first road game of preseason with 4-1 loss in Buffalo
Hopes of a perfect preseason for the Bruins were dashed Tuesday night in Buffalo, as the Sabres beat Kyle Keyser for two goals in the opening 21 minutes of action, while the Sabres’ tandem of Devon Levi and Devin Cooley turned aside all but one of Boston’s 38 shots in a 4-1 final at KeyBank Center.
Sent to the kill just 183 seconds into the game, the Bruins found themselves in an early just moments later when the Sabres’ Jeff Skinner blasted a power-play one-time shot through Keyser at the 3:22 mark of the frame.
Skinner’s goal would hold as the only tally through 20 minutes of play, but Buffalo’s Riley Stillman doubled his team’s lead in the second period, and just 43 seconds into the frame.
Keyser would depart around the midway point of the second period, and finished his 2023 preseason debut with 20 saves on 22 shots faced, including a solid 15-for-16 effort in the crease at even-strength play.
The Bruins replaced Keyser with Michael DiPietro, who allowed one goal on 12 shots in 26 minutes of work.
Boston’s third-period push was noticeable, too, with strong looks from Jakub Lauko, Georgii Merkulov, and Johnny Beecher among others. But it ultimately proved to be for naught, as the Sabres’ Brandon Biro pushed the Buffalo edge out to three, and by all means put the Black and Gold to bed in the process.
But an empty net at the other net proved to give the Bruins a bit of life in a rather dull contest, and it was Oskar Steen who found the back of the net with a net-front jam through Cooley with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.
A nice shot from Mason Lohrei leads to an Oskar Steen goal: pic.twitter.com/68SPZn2VfH— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) September 27, 2023
On a lineup front, Milan Lucic made his 2023 preseason debut for the Bruins, and finished with one takeaway in over 17 minutes of time on ice. Lucic spent the majority of his night on a line with Marc McLaughlin and Jakub Lauko.
And on the backend, top defensive prospect Mason Lohrei skated in his first career preseason game and logged a team-high 29:01 of time on ice. Lohrei also recorded the primary helper on Steen’s goal, had two shots on five shot attempts, and finished with two blocked shots and one hit taken.
Jim Montgomery’s club also survived an injury scare when Matt Grzelcyk departed after taking a puck off the hand in the second period of play. Grzelcyk would depart down the tunnel for a hot second, but ultimately returned to action and took what you’d conider regular shifts throughout the remainder of the evening.
The Bruins will return to game action Friday night when the Flyers come to town.