Boston Bruins beat reeling Buffalo Sabres, 5-2
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Milan Lucic got five stitches -- and the last word.
The Buffalo crowd cheered when Lucic was struck in the face with a puck late in the first period Wednesday night in Boston's 5-2 victory over the reeling Sabres 5-2. The rugged left wing left the ice for repairs, then responded by scoring 40 seconds into the second period.
"When you get hit in the face like that, it's never a good feeling," said Lucic, who had two goals and an assist. "It's nice to get one when the crowd's cheering when you get hit in the face. It's nice to stick it to them that way."
Torey Krug also scored twice, and Dougie Hamilton added his second goal of the season. The Bruins are 6-2 overall and have won their first four road games for the first time since 2010.
Nikita Zadorov and Cody Hodgson scored for Buffalo. At 1-9-1, the Sabres are off to their worst start in franchise history. They are winless in their first seven home games.
It was another hit to the head that earned the ire of the Bruins as Boston left wing Loui Eriksson had to be helped from the ice after a late hit from Sabres enforcer John Scott in the third period.
Scott then fought Adam McQuaid and was given a match penalty.
"He's out there for two reasons and that's either to fight or hurt, so he did his job tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Julien did not have an update on Eriksson, who did not return to the game.
By the time Krug netted the second of his two third-period goals, the fans launched into what have become regular "Fire Darcy! Fire Darcy!" chants in reference to Sabres general manager Darcy Regier.
"We were starting to come around," said Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who made 29 saves. "We got some life off those goals in the second period. For the most part we cleaned some stuff up. Our transition to defense cost us two but other than that we're in a hockey game."
Chad Johnson made 14 saves for Boston to earn the win.
Boston opened the scoring when Jarome Iginla's wrist shot deflected off Lucic and through Miller's legs.
The Bruins doubled their lead 40 seconds into the second on Lucic's team-leading fifth goal. Iginla fired a pass from the right boards to Lucic and he tapped the puck in before crashing into the boards behind Miller.
Buffalo's first goal came from its struggling power play, which improved to 4 for 38 when Cody Hodgson scored 8:21 into the second period. The Sabres only managed two shots in the third period and were outshot 34-16 overall.
"They've got a strong team from their ‘D' all the way up to their forwards and we didn't match them," Sabres co-captain Steve Ott said.
Zadorov's first NHL goal, in just his second NHL game, brought the Sabres within one with 4:50 to play in the second period. Zadorov moved on his backhand around Bruins center before beating Johnson to the left side.
"It feels good for my first NHL goal, first pro goal of my life," Zadorov said. "I'm really happy now."
Zadorov is the second-youngest player to score a goal for the Sabres, at 18 years, 190 days. Pierre Turgeon was 18 years, 54 days when he scored for Buffalo in 1987.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.