Three takeaways from Tuesday night’s loss to the Sabres

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Kyle Keyser #85 of the Boston Bruins in action against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on September 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Kyle Keyser #85 of the Boston Bruins in action against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on September 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

On Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins were unable to pick up their second victory of the preseason as they fell to the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-1.

The lone goal for the Bruins was picked up by Oskar Steen in the third period. Head coach Jim Montgomery wound up splitting the goaltending duties between Kyle Keyser and Michael DiPietro virtually in half with Keyser getting the start for the first 30:24 where he allowed two goals on 22 shots, before being replaced for the following 26 minutes by DiPietro.

DiPietro left the net with just over three minutes to play in the third, giving way to a sixth attacker, but the Bruins were unable to convert and wound up letting up an empty net goal with two seconds left to play.

Here are three takeaways from Tuesday night’s loss to the Sabres.

Takeaway #1 – The Bruins need to be more disciplined

Through two games, Boston’s special teams has returned some good news and some bad news to its fanbase.

First, the bad news: the Bruins have committed nine penalties in their first two preseason games. Of those nine penalties, five were for tripping, two were for interference, and one each for high-sticking and slashing.

The good news now: Boston has been able to kill off each of those penalties except for one, all while allowing 12 shots on goal.

Overall, the penalty kill is operating at a 89% clip, and has been solid so far, and that’s without most of the regulars playing so far in the preseason. If the season were to start today, they would be in good shape, at least in that aspect.

Takeaway #2 – The Bruins’ young players are proving their mettle

Though it’s a small sample size, the Bruins young players have accounted for three out of their four goals thus far.

In the first game, the first came off the stick of 19-year-old Matthew Poitras and third-year pro John Beecher, and in Tuesday night’s matchup it came from 25-year-old Oskar Steen who has been with the club for just under five years now.

Steen took advantage of a juicy rebound off a shot from the blueline by Mason Lohrei, who was playing in his first preseason game, and tapped it home.

In addition to Steen scoring the goal (one of a team-leading six shots on goal for the Swedish center), John Beecher looked strong again. Beecher couldn’t find the back of the net in this one, but he was tied for the team-lead in blocked shots and made fluid passes – proving that he is determined to make the NHL roster out of camp.

Mason Lohrei looked natural out there as well, and made some good shots, and picked up an assist in the losing effort. He also made smart passes, proving that he can give some defensemen a run for their money this season. Chances are still high that he winds up with the Providence Bruins to start the year, but that doesn’t appear to be for long.

Takeaway #3 – Kyle Keyser ain’t it in net

I mean, I’ll give it to Boston they’re set up for a long time in net, but Keyser definitely showed that he isn’t ready to take the leap to the NHL anytime soon – not even in the case of a trade like Keith Kincaid last year.

Keyser had a solid showing in terms of quantity of saves, but the fact of the matter is what most coaching staffs and front office members are looking is not the amount of saves you make, but more of if you can stay composed while you’re at it.

While he made 20 saves in just 30 minutes, not a lot were turning into faceoffs, and a lot were either juicy rebounds or kept in play when he should have just sat on the puck.

Sure, it could have been much worse, and Keyser easily kept the Bruins in the game, but he clearly should not be their choice in net moving forward.

What’s next?

Following the 4-1 drubbing out in western New York, Boston returns to the TD Garden for the start of a home-and-home with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The first game is on Friday, September 29 with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and the second is scheduled for three days after that on Monday, October 2 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia – puck drop in that one is also scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Both games will be televised on NHL network, as well as NESN+ and ESPN+, respectively.

Following Friday’s game, the Bruins will be halfway through their preseason schedule, and it’s worth noting that there will be some cuts between Friday and Monday. Watch for the roster to shift a bit going into Monday’s game.

Next. What we learned from the Bruins’ first preseason game. dark