Brad Marchand scored to force overtime and again in the extra session to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 OT win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday at First Niagara Center. Marchand had a hand in all three Bruins goals, assisting on Adam McQuaid's second-period tally before beating Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth for the tying and winning goals.
Bruins backup goaltender Niklas Svedberg made 13 saves to earn his second victory of the season, both against Buffalo. Enroth had 34 saves.
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 34-14 in regulation and enjoyed a huge offensive-zone time differential, yet had to rally twice to force overtime.
In the second period, the Bruins outshot the Sabres 10-3, but two of Buffalo's offerings found the back of the net. The Sabres converted their first power-play goal of the season at the 5:12 mark when Drew Stafford beat Svedberg. After McQuaid tied it at 1-1, Stafford, whose goal was assisted by Tyler Ennis, returned the favor at 16:25 of the second period, earning a helper on Ennis' even-strength goal to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead.
At 14:30 of the third period, Marchand redirected Loui Eriksson's blast past Enroth to pull the Bruins even at 2-2, setting the stage for the overtime heroics.
Lucic begins with a bang: Milan Lucic picked up his first fighting major of the season and 53rd of his career just 51 seconds after the opening faceoff, in a spirited bout with Sabres right wing Chris Stewart. Stewart landed several good left hooks, and then a right hand, bringing the fans at First Niagara Center to their feet. But Lucic stood strong and countered with some good overhand rights. Score the action-packed bout a draw, with both players getting high marks for their efforts to provide their respective teams with a spark in the early going.
Young D-men join the fray: With Torey Krug joining fellow injured defensemen Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller on the sidelines, the Bruins' blue line is forced to rely more on young, inexperienced players to fill up the lineup behind Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg and McQuaid. Boston recalled Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence on Wednesday, and they were in the lineup Thursday, with Matt Bartkowski the healthy scratch. Making his NHL debut, Morrow logged 17:51 of ice time. Warsofsky logged 18:09 of ice time in his season debut for the Bruins, after appearing in six games last season. Meanwhile, Zach Trotman played his third game of the season for Boston. The newbies acquitted themselves well, giving the Bruins time to eventually capitalize in the offensive zone against the Sabres.
What's next: Thursday's win leaves the Bruins at 6-6-0 for the month of October. They return to Boston and kick off a four-game homestand at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, with visits from the Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils on deck. In all, the Bruins have 12 games in November to try to make some headway in the standings.