The Buffalo Sabres pulled off numerous feats Thursday in beating the Boston Bruins.
They scored four goals in two straight games for the first time all season. Those four goals Thursday helped them put together their second winning streak of the season – the first in which both wins came in regulation – and extend their best stretch of what has been a horrid campaign. And they came from behind for the second straight game, the first time in 2013-14 they've done that.
But more than these statistical tidbits, the Sabres proved in besting Boston 4-2 that maybe, perhaps, this season won't be a total loss, even with the playoffs still a laughable notion.
Buffalo weathered some early inertia by both teams and scored first – only the seventh time in 35 games they've done that this year – on a nifty Brian Flynn short-handed goal. He grabbed a loose puck and rushed down the ice, fending off a defender and backhanding a shot past Chad Johnson at the 16:27 mark.
The Bruins were able to tie the game on a penalty kill of their own early in the second period. Brad Marchand led a two-on-one rush and beat Ryan Miller to even the score at 1-1 at the 1:50 mark. He needed only 94 seconds to give Boston the lead, knuckling a Patrice Bergeron pass past Miller from the faceoff circle.
Just like in Tuesday's win over Winnipeg, the Sabres found themselves in a hold after a momentary collapse. But also like Tuesday – and unlike most of the rest of the season – the Sabres responded. Only this time, it was against the division leaders and not fellow cellar-dwellers.
Marcus Foligno tied the game at 17:11 of the second period, as a Jamie McBain rebound fell right in front of him at the goal crease. Then Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers scored third-period goals to seal the win, Stafford's on a wraparound and Myers when he pinched from the point only 80 seconds after Stafford scored.
Coach Ted Nolan gave his team credit for being able to respond. he feels his team might finally be at the point where it can overcome lapses in play:
"I think so, but we have to stop the 'uh-oh' part … as talented as (the Bruins) are, I'm really proud of how we played tonight."
Foligno added an assist on Myers' goal and got things going early in a fight. He finished the night plus-2 and got 16:20 of ice time, well above his season average.
"It was nice. But now it's over," Foligno said. "Now it's time for me to forget this game and be consistent now."
Miller stopped 34 shots to get the win. Flynn also added an assist and ended the night plus-three. Cody Hodgson missed most of the final two periods and may miss some time with an upper body injury.
The Sabres improved to 9-23-3 (21 points). They are 3-1-1 in their last five games. The Bruins fell to 23-10-2 (48 points). The two teams play again Saturday night in Boston.
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