Here are 15 thoughts after the third period with the Bruins falling to the Sabres by a 7-4 score after 60 minutes of play at TD Garden.
FIRST PERIOD1) Shawn Thornton had a lengthy chat with big John Scott during pregame warm-ups and it was pretty clear the two were planning out a bout once things got started. Thornton tried to get a hold of Scott so he could grapple with the 6-foot-8, 260-pound brute, but Scott landed a series of overhand right punches that sent the Bs enforcer tumbling to the ice. He skated off to the dressing room as soon as his penalty was over and never returned to the bench in the first period. He won't return to the game tonight. Not good.2) Scott meanwhile skated a grand total of 27 seconds of ice time and managed to throw an elbow at Rich Peverley on a check against the boards that sent him right back off to the penalty box. It remains to be seen if anybody else for the Bruins will answer the bell if Scott keeps lowering the boom when he gets out on the ice for his one-per-period shift.3) Good job by Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara against the Jason PominvilleThomas Vanek line thats been so good for Buffalo this season. Pominville got behind Chara once to squeeze off a shot from the right wing with Boychuk closing in on him, but that was the only quasi-quality chance either player enjoyed in the first period.4) Three shots on net in 7:34 of ice time for Tyler Seguin to lead all skaters in the first 20 minutes. Seguin said before the game that its time for his game to get going now that the team is past the five-game mark on the season, and it looks like hes turning up the offensive aggressiveness dial just a little bit.5) Patrice Bergeron has won six of seven face-offs and is working Steve Ott in the face-off circle. Thats a stark contrast to last years game against Dallas when Ott owned David Krejci on the face-off dot. Good work in the first period, but no score as the Bruins couldnt close on a number of good chances for Daniel Paille, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara.
1) So much for the Bruins doing a good job of holding down Thomas Vanek. He explodes for two goals and an assist in the second period and wreaks havoc on the Boston defense with his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame in front of the net. It shouldnt be a surprise as his career numbers against the Bruins are very good. He finished off two plays with natural goal-scoring moves and then made a really nifty pass as he was being taken down by Andrew Ference, and found a wide open Tyler Ennis for the game-tying score.2) Brad Marchand is still fanning on shots that hed normally bury as he works on his hands, but he had himself a hell of a period. In both instances the plays were started by Patrice Bergeron hunting the puck, but Nose Face Killah scored on a backhanded dangle through Tyler Myers and Jordan Leopold and then scored another goal from the slot as Tyler Seguin battled with the 6-foot-7 Myers in front of the net. The goal might eventually go to Seguin, but it not Marchand leads the Bruins with five goals scored on the season.3) The third line kick-started the offense for the Bruins as a dogged shift with Chris Kelly fore-checking in the corner turned into Daniel Paille taking a few whacks at the puck in front of the net to create a little chaos. From there Rich Peverley picked up the loose puck and squeezed it through Ryan Miller for his first goal of the season. The third line breakthrough has been a long time coming for Peverley and Kelly after an ineffective first six games.4) A game-high six shots on net for Rich Peverley in the game and hes won six out of eight face-offs in addition to the first goal. Peverley has been getting chances for the last couple of games, so it seemed this was only a matter of time for No. 49.5) A minus-2, one shot on net and no hits for Zdeno Chara through two periods. Its one thing if the Bruins dont want to trade Chara for John Scott in a battle of the goliaths, but the big defenseman needs to at least stop the Buffalo top line from scoring on them. Big Zee needs to be more of a factor.
1) Dougie Hamilton took a nasty Drew Stafford elbow to the chops in the middle of the third period, left the ice momentarily but returned to play rest of period. Tough kid and a dirty play from Stafford.2) Tyler Ennis is a dirty little bugger. Was whacking David Krejci with his stick as both players skated off the ice for a line change and almost got whistled for too many men on the ice when he got so preoccupied with carving up the Bs center like he was Dr. Hook.3) Thomas Vanek played a huge part in five of Buffalos six goals including the game-winner. He is playing the best hockey of his career along with Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville, and there was nobody even close for the Bruins despite Marchands two goals. It was his eighth career hat trick and his second five-point game of the season. Fifty four career points in 46 games against the Bs.4) Bruins power play hurt them tonight when they couldnt do anything with the 5-on-3 four minute power play midway through the third period. A Dennis Seidenberg tripping call wiped out half of the power play and the Bruins couldnt get anything past Ryan Miller with the rest of the man advantage.5) Ryan Miller deserves props for his performance in the third period. He stoned Patrice Bergeron from point blank range when the Bruins were still trailing by only a goal and made 14 saves in the final 20 minutes as they tried to play catch-up.