Recap: Bruins start 2022 with comeback OT win over Sabres

The Boston Bruins started off 2022 with some fireworks.

The Bruins completed a comeback to take down the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. Down 3-1 heading into the final two, Boston scored two goals early in the third before Charlie Coyle grabbed the game-winner.

Nick Foligno scored his first as a Bruin, as Craig Smith and Taylor Hall added the other two goals. Charlie McAvoy had three assists and Linus Ullmark made 21 saves for his eighth win of the season. The Bruins improved to 15-10-2, picking up their third win of the season over Buffalo.

1st period

The Sabres got on the board early in the first thanks to a Vinnie Hinostroza goal.

Not sure if Foligno was blocking Ullmark’s view, but either way, the Bruins goaltender didn’t see it clearly and it slipped passed him.

Boston outshot the Sabres (stop me if you’ve heard this before) but found themselves down after one.

2nd period

It didn’t take too long for the Bruins to find the equalizer as Smith found the back of the net off a rebound.

Some poor defensive coverage in front from the Sabres allow Smith to collect the loose puck and find the back of the net. 1-1 game.

The Sabres grabbed the lead back with Jeff Skinner ripping one over the glove of Ullmark.

Tough break for the Bruins. Alex Tuch’s shot gets blocked by Matt Grzelcyk and no one can locate it before Skinner gets it and puts it home.

Late in the third, Smith gets called for hooking goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, which is a pretty rare sight to see. But Buffalo went to work the two former Golden Knights capitalized on the power play before the end of the period.

Tuch secured his first goal as a Sabre from a sweet dish from Peyton Krebs, his first point as a Sabre. Both were apart of the package Buffalo got in the Jack Eichel trade to Vegas.

3-1 Buffalo after two.

3rd period

Boston didn’t waste much time in the final frame to get the offense going.

Just over three minutes in, Foligno picked a great time to pot his first goal as a Bruins.

Jake DeBrusk WHERE HAS THIS BEEN! That was reminiscent of the 2018-19 DeBrusk we saw in the playoffs. He uses his speed and body to drive to the night, create an opportunity and Foligno  with some excellent patience to get it over Luukkonen’s pad.

About a minute and a half later, it was the former Sabre doing damage against his own squad.

We saw patience with Foligno in tight and we see patience off the rush with Hall. Just waits and waits and waits, toe drag and boom – tie game.

Neither side could get their fourth goal in the third period, so for the first time 2022, the Bruins went to OT.

OT

Overtime didn’t last very long. Coyle and the Bruins needed just 34 seconds to complete the comeback and send TD Garden into elation.

What a way to end. Coyle gets his eighth goal of the season, beating Luukkonen on the glove side for the 4-3 win.

Notes

  • OK let’s get it out of the way first – not a great first two periods. Not necessarily bad hockey, but the same old, same old. Bruins outplay, outshoot, out-chance, yet don’t score and are losing. They’ll get away with it against the Sabres. They won’t get away with it against playoff teams.
  • Now, that said – is 2022 the year of the depth scoring? Four different goal scorers and none of them were named Bergeron, Marchand or Pastrnak. It’s what the Bruins have needed and continue to need going forward
  • I like the new top lines. Hall and Pastrnak have made sense for awhile to pair together, but I don’t think many expected Erik Haula in the middle. But boy that line has some speed to it
  • Speaking of speed, DeBrusk had some of the best shifts of the season late in that game. Upping that trade value, if a trade is still even in play. Really brought back memories of DeBrusk against the Maple Leafs in the playoffs just a few years ago
  • Charlie McAvoy with three assists. He continues to be a top-5 defensemen in the league
  • 2 assists from Brad Marchand, his 17th and 18th on the season

Boston is back again tomorrow because of course they have a back-to-back. The team travels to Detroit to face a Red Wings team that they are currently tied with in the standings.

It’s another winnable game and one that the Bruins need.