October 23, 2013

Krug, Lucic each pot a pair in Bruins' win over Sabres

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 5, Buffalo 2

Recap: It wasn't as lopsided as the Red Sox win over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series, but the Bruins also earned a runaway victory on Wednesday night after taking it to their opponent early. Milan Lucic scored 11 minutes into the contest, getting a piece of a shot by Jarome Iginla that trickled past Ryan Miller. 

After taking a puck in the face and leaving for repairs late in the first, Lucic scored his second of the night early in the middle frame, burying a feed from Iginla this time to make it 2-0. Buffalo cut the lead in half on a power play later in the frame, with a shot redirecting off Cody Hodgson and past a helpless Chad Johnson.

The B's got that one back three minutes later when Dougie Hamilton roofed one from close range on an impressive odd-man rush with Brad Marchand, but Johnson let in a softy shortly afterward, with Nikita Zadorov beating him with a weak backhander to make it 3-2.

Boston was able to pull away in the third thanks to a pair of goals from Torey Krug, the latter of which came on the power play. Johnson needed to make just 14 saves on the night, a mere two of which came in the third.

Key Play of the Game: The entire evening was overshadowed by the grotesque stupidity of John Scott, the most embarrassing instance of a one-dimensional dirtbag holding down a roster spot in the National Hockey League. Scott came flying right down the red line and elbowed Loui Eriksson in the head when the game was 4-2 in the third. Eriksson left the game. The Sabres gormless goon was given the gate and will be suspended for his actions. 

Records: Boston 6-2-0, 12 points; Buffalo 1-9-1, three points

Connolly's Commendations: It sure is a treat to watch Krug, isn't it? No. 47 jumped into the play down low and tucked one five-hole on Miller for his first goal and ripped one home from the bottom of the circle on his second tally. He's now up to 3-2-5 totals through eight games.

Lucic's early-season roll continues. The former 30-goal scorer is off to a killer start with five goals in the team's first eight games. He can't keep up this pace (right?), but the fact that he's almost equaled his output from a year ago sure is encouraging.

Good on the Bruins for taking the high road -- as they always do -- after Scott was sent to the locker room for the rest of the evening. Claude Julien's club showed a lot of discipline in not retaliating on one of the Sabres' star forwards. OK, OK. The Sabres only have one star forward, so I guess Thomas Vanek lucked out.

Connolly's Critiques: Boston's defense was a little turnover happy at times, but it all worked out in the end because no one other than Scott's elbow showed up in the third period for the Sabres.

Notes: Lucic had just one goal -- an empty-netter -- in his last 15 contests against the Sabres, with his last tally against a Buffalo goalie (Miller) coming back in 2010. ... This was the first time the Sabres scored multiple goals in back-to-back games this season.

Final Thoughts: It's truly a shame that all the talk is about Scott and not the impressive performances of Lucic and Krug, all while no one knows if Eriksson is concussed and possibly on the cusp of missing significant time. If this isn't rock bottom for the Sabres as a franchise, I don't know what is.

Next: The B's have the tall task of taking on the red-hot Sharks tomorrow night at TD Garden.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com