BOSTON -- The Bruins beefed up their defensemen depth at the NHL trade deadline and those depthsare already being tested.
Andrew Ference exited Thursday night's 4-3 overtime win at TD Garden over the New Jersey Devils in the third period with a "lower body injury" and never returned to action. Ference has a history of groin issues over the years, but it's unclear if that was the problem this time around.
The B's defenseman took a heavy hit from Alex Ponikarovsky in the corner during the second period, butit was unclearif that had anything to do with Ference's exit after just 2:40 and four shifts in the third period.
"He suffered a lower body injury and the medical staff thought it was better to hold him out of the game," said Claude Julien. "We'll know more about the injury tomorrow."
Julien had actually shortened his bench and was skipping Joe Corvo while going with a five-man defensemen rotation to start the third period. But the B's coach was forced to put Corvo back into the regular rotation when Ference had to leavethe game prematurely.
Greg Zonan, by contrast, was impressive in his debut with the Bruins, and it appears that Johnny Boychuk is trending toward a potential return this weekend from a mild concussion if things continue to improve. Mike Mottau was a healthy scratch for Thursday's game against the Devils, but that may change given Ference's developing injury situation.
BOSTON – The Bruins had things set up for a solid win against an Atlantic Division doormat on Saturday night, but then they went and blew a three-goal second period lead and a two-goal third period lead en route to a deflating loss.
Ryan O’Reilly scored during a wild scramble around the Boston net in the 3-on-3 overtime and the Bruins dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Buffalo at TD Garden. So now the Bruins have lost to two of last year’s worst teams in the league, Colorado and Buffalo, and an expansion team within the first seven games of the season.
The Bruins were all over the Sabres in the first period squeezing off 13 shots on net, and getting goals from David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to get things going. The Pastrnak score was a clean-up job at the front of the net after Tim Schaller had crashed the net with the puck, and Marchand scored a goal just two seconds into a PP possession after Marco Scandella coughed a puck up right in front of the Buffalo net.
Marchand struck again on the first shift of the second period when he snapped home a backhanded drop pass from Anders Bjork, and then Jason Pominville and Pastrnak traded scores to give the Bruins a comfortable three-goal lead. Chelmsford’s own Jack Eichel scored on the rebound of a Scandella shot to make it a two-goal game going into the final period of play, and Benoit Pouliot potted his first goal with the Sabres to make it really close down the stretch.
Anton Khudobin and the Bruins tried to hold strong in the closing minutes of the third, but couldn’t overcome a shaky interference call on Brandon Carlo that ultimately led to a game-tying Evander Kane score after the PP had expired.
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