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The Bruins fell to a hungrier, more desperate Buffalo Sabres team Thursday night, failing to protect two separate one-goal leads and eventually losing to their division rival, 4-2 at the Garden.
Boston’s energy and effort was flat for much of the contest, especially down the stretch. They opened up the scoring midway through the first period, when Dennis Seidenberg ripped a shot through traffic, and with the help of a great screen from Nathan Horton in front, the puck beat Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller to give the B’s an early 1-0 advantage.
Buffalo’s Cody McCormick evened the score early in the second period, knocking home his own rebound past Tuukka Rask to knot the game at one a piece. The B’s got the lead back later in the period on a goal from Gregory Campbell, one of the hottest skaters in Black and Gold. Campbell has four goals and four assists in his last seven games.
From there though, it was all Sabres, all the time. Buffalo tied the game again before the end of the second period on a Nathan Gerbe goal. The former BC standout beat Rask over his left shoulder for the Sabres’ second goal of the night. Buffalo got their game-winner off the stick of their leading goal scorer, winger Thomas Vanek. Vanek beat Rask on an unassisted goal to give the Sabres a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Jason Pominville added a tip-in goal in the final minutes of the game to round out the scoring on the evening, putting the finishing touches on Buffalo’s 4-2 road win.
From here, the B’s go from one snowy locale to another, as they head west to face the Colorado Avalanche in a Saturday matinee at the Pepsi Center. They’ll continue west to Los Angeles for a Monday night battle with the Kings before returning home to wrap up their pre-All Star break schedule Wednesday night when they host the Florida Panthers.