Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Sabres in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
Bruins taking care of business: The Bruins had seen this play out before — hosting a slumping team without their top player, and dropping the ball. After getting knocked around by the cellar-dwelling Devils without Taylor Hall back on Dec. 27, the B’s did not let the past repeat itself against the Sabres in their final meeting with their Atlantic Division foe on Saturday. Playing without Jack Eichel, the Sabres found themselves hemmed in by the B’s for most of the first 30 minutes of play, with Boston holding a 23-11 edge in scoring chances going into the second intermission.
With regular-season series already wrapping up against division opponents such as the Sabres, Maple Leafs and Canadiens, the Bruins need to capitalize now and give themselves some breathing room in the standings before moving on to a schedule featuring plenty of Metropolitan and Western Conference foes. Saturday was a great step in the right direction for the Bruins, who have now won four games in a row.
Fourth line dominates: Bruce Cassidy was frank following Saturday’s win, noting that the fourth line of Chris Wagner, Noel Acciari and Sean Kuraly was the best line out there for the B’s against Buffalo. He certainly has a point. During the 11:25 of 5v5 TOI that Boston’s fourth line was out there, the Bruins held a 5-1 edge in high-danger scoring chances, with the Sabres unable to do much against the that trio’s forecheck. Going forward, Cassidy mentioned how that trio could be Boston’s starting unit for home games due to their ability to set the tone early. Given the fact they nearly scored 20 seconds into the game, seems like a good idea going forward.