February 8, 2012

Bruins downright brutal in loss to Buffalo

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Buffalo 6, Boston 0

Recap: After falling behind 1-0 on a Christian Ehrhoff goal, Boston thought they’d tied things up midway through the first period. Rich Peverley was bogusly deemed to have interfered with goalie Ryan Miller, so the tally was disallowed. In the big scheme, it didn’t matter.

Buffalo pushed the lead to two a few minutes later. In the second, Tuukka Rask was sent to the showers after a weak goal by Tyle Ennis. Tim Thomas stood on his head for a bit, but Patrick Kaleta made it 4-0 with 1:49 to go in the middle frame.

With the game already all but out of reach, Jason Pominville buried his second of the night to make it 5-0 at 1:18 of the third. Drew Stafford closed out the scoring with Buffalo’s sixth goal of the night at 18:58.

Records: Buffalo 23-24-6, 52 points; Boston 33-17-2, 68 points

Key Play of the Game: When the Bruins decided that playing All-Star-Game-quality defense would be a great idea.

Okay, okay. In actuality, go back to the disallowed goal in the first period. The B’s were pretty much junk from there on out.

Connolly’s Commendations: For the sake of filling up space, we’ll give out a few pats on the back, starting with Patrice Bergeron’s killer night at the dot (18-of-22, 82 percent).

Kudos to Shawn Thornton as well, who spent triple the amount of time in the box (22 minutes) as he did on the ice (7:14).

Connolly’s Critiques: Who should Bruins fans be more mad at: Joe Corvo for his glaring mistakes or the NHL’s official scorekeepers for not giving No. 14 deserved “credit” for his atrocious giveaway on the Sabres’ final goal?

One player who did rack up giveaways in this one was Zdeno Chara. The B’s captain was minus-3 on the night with a game-high three giveaways.

Claude Julien was supposedly happy with how well David Krejci played with Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron on the third line on Sunday. No doubt the Bruins bench boss didn’t like what he saw this evening. Krejci (2-of-10 on faceoffs) and Co. did squat as a unit, leading to a switch that saw him center Pouliot and Milan Lucic.

Tuukka Rask really couldn’t be blamed for the first two goals on the night, but No. 40 seemed to be fighting the puck from the moment the game started. He’s now winless in his last four starts.

Notes: Ryan Miller had never shutout the Bruins before. It was the netminder’s 34th career start against Boston. For Rask, it was just the third time he’d been pulled in his NHL career.

Final Thoughts: Words can not describe how quickly unwatchable Wednesday’s loss became. The Bruins simply never showed up. Sure, they won every fight and didn’t take any crap from the likes of super-pest Patrick Kaleta and friends, but at the end of the day, who really cares? This was their most decidedly embarrassing loss of the 2011-12 campaign.

Next: The Bruins will be back at it on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the red-hot Predators to TD Garden.