Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 2-0 victory over the Sabres in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
With seven of their next nine games set against the cellar-dwelling Sabres and Devils — and with multiple games in hand against the three teams ahead of them in the East Division standings — the Bruins very well could be in the driver's seat when it comes to determining their fate ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And while Buffalo (5-3-2 in their previous 10 games) has emerged from doldrums that they found themselves in earlier this season, this is still a rebuilding roster that a suddenly red-hot B's roster should run circles around over the next week. Even though the final score of Tuesday's meeting between both clubs (a 2-0 Bruins victory) may not have been as lopsided as one might expect, Boston still took care of business against a lesser foe — with Tuukka Rask snuffing out multiple late-game pushes by Buffalo en route to a 32-save shutout.
Brad Marchand and Connor Clifton both scored for the Bruins — who have now won five games in a row since the trade deadline. Following the Rangers' regulation loss to the Islanders on Tuesday, the Bruins now hold a six-point lead over the Blueshirts in the standings for the fourth and final playoff spot, in the East with Boston also with two games in hand against New York.
Boston didn't necessarily make things easy on themselves despite building a 2-0 lead through the first 24 minutes of play — especially in a third period where the B's were whistled for four penalties. Spending so much time in the sin bin isn't a winning formula against a club like the Capitals. But against Buffalo, Boston was able to escape unscathed, with Rask slamming the door shut with 17 stops in the final 20 minutes of action.