Boston Bruins 2, Buffalo Sabres 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 5, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston
Recap for Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
BOSTON – Goaltender Tuukka Rask lost his bid for his first shutout of the season late but still backstopped the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory against the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Chris Wagner and David Backes scored for the Bruins, who won their fourth game in a row to match their season high. Boston also snapped a tie with the Sabres for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Rask made 31 saves, beaten only on an unassisted goal by Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with 2:38 remaining. Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark stopped 39 of 41 shots.
Wagner opened the scoring — twice.
He appeared to score 20 seconds into the game, slapping the puck into an open net after teammate Sean Kuraly slid into Ullmark just outside the left post. After a review, the goal was waved off because of goaltender interference.
Wagner scored the first goal anyway at 10:10 of the first period. Teammate Noel Acciari poked the puck away from the Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin as the rookie defenseman attempted to skate the puck out of his own zone. The puck rolled to Wagner near the top of the slot, and he turned and beat Ullmark.
Backes made it 2-0 at 2:00 of the second. Backes gained control of the puck just inside the Boston blue line after a kick save from Rask and skated in on a two-on-one with Brad Marchand. Backes kept the puck and beat Ullmark high to the glove side from the left faceoff circle.
Ristolainen gave the Sabres some late hope with his goal. He gathered the puck at center ice, zig-zagged past two Boston players at the blue line and skated wide down the right side to avoid Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Ristolainen then roofed a snap shot high to the short side over Rask’s glove.
The Sabres’ leading scorer, Jack Eichel, missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury, preventing the former Boston University star from making a homecoming.
–Field Level Media