Bruins score 3 unanswered goals in 3rd, beat Sabres 5-2


BOSTON — David Krejci and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist, and the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Thursday night.

David Pastrnak scored his 199th career goal for Boston just 1:16 into the game, and Charlie Coyle broke a 2-all tie on a breakaway midway through the third period for his first goal in two months.

Taylor Hall also scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask finished with 29 saves.

The Bruins entered Thursday holding the fourth and final playoff spot for the East Division, took the first of back-to-back games against the last-place Sabres, who fell to 13-31-7.

Casey Mittelstadt and Sam Reinhart scored for the Sabres. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 35 shots, helping keep Buffalo in it until the Bruins closed it out with three unanswered goals in the third.

Reinhart tied it 1:43 into the third with his 23rd goal of the season, but the Sabres couldn’t catch the Bruins again.

Coyle put Boston back up 3-2 on a breakaway 7:58 into the third period. Coyle intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, then slipped between Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolaine for a clean breakaway on Luukkonen.


Krejci’s power-play goal in the final second of the first period barely beat the buzzer. The puck hit the post, bounced off Luukkonen’s hip and redirected into the net. Replays showed the puck made it across the goal line with four-tenths of a second remaining. Reinhart had five seconds left in his penalty for tripping Pastrnak.


Coyle’s goal was his sixth of the season and ended a 28-game scoring drought, the longest of his career. It was the sixth goal for Coyle and his first since he scored against the New York Rangers on Feb. 28.


Marchand’s goal was into an empty net after the Sabres pulled Luukkonen for an extra skater. Marchand made a steal deep in his own end, then let go of a wrist shot that got in under the crossbar from the other end of the ice with 1:34 left in the third.


The Bruins host the Sabres again on Saturday in the eighth and final meeting between the two clubs this season.

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