Bruins Stumble Late In Return to Action
The Olympics in Sochi didn’t go as planned for some teams, mainly the host team of Russia who was bounced out of the tournament by Finland in the quarterfinal round of elimination with a final score of 3-1. The Bruins own Tuukka Rask played a remarkable game stopping 37 of 38 shots to lead Finland to the victory.
Team USA was considered a heavy contender to win gold, but lost to Patrice Bergeron and Team Canada in the semifinals 1-0 and then lost again in the bronze medal game 5-0 allowing Tuukka Rask to secure his first and only shutout of the tournament on 27 saves for Finland.
The Boston Bruins won a trifecta of medals from the players that were sent over to play in the winter games. Patrice Bergeron won gold with Canada, Loui Eriksson won silver with Sweden, and Tuukka Rask won bronze with Finland. Head Coach Claude Julien also took home gold as part of the Canadian coaching staff. Unfortunately for Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, they were not able to win medals with their respective countries.
The Bruins were hoping to use their Olympic momentum of medal winners to jolt past the Sabres to sit at the top of the Atlantic Division with 80 points but they were unable to do so.
Krejci, Chara, Bergeron and Eriksson would all return to action on Wednesday, but Tuukka Rask was not back with the team just yet after his bronze medal run, giving Chad Johnson the nod in net.
All night the scoring went back and forth as the Sabres defeated the Bruins 5-4 in overtime. The Sabres were down 4-3 late in the third period before Sabres forward Matt Moulson tied the game with 53 seconds left in regulation.
Buffalo didn’t wait long to strike again though; 22 seconds into overtime Matt D’Agostini scored the game winning goal after Loui Eriksson turned over the puck on a pass back to the point. D’Agostini was able to fly by Zdeno Chara and get a partial break away to do a nifty forehand backhand move while holding off Chara to score five hole on Chad Johnston.
“You score four goals, you should win those kind of games,” said head coach Claude Julien after the loss. “We were definitely rusty defensively,” he added. “The goals we gave them are certainly not the way we normally give up goals.”
The Bruins were hoping to keep their surge going by capping a victory over the last place Sabres but were unable to do so. They were able to squeeze out a point though and remain atop the Atlantice Division with 79 points.
“We’re a team that expects more,” said Julien. “We should have walked out of here with a win.”
The Bruins play again Saturday against the Capitals at 1pm @ TD Garden. Be sure to tune into The Voice for live coverage and analysis