March 31, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: Khudobin, B's blank Sabres, halt skid

By Jesse Connolly

Anton Khudobin's first-period stop on Tyler Ennis (63) was flat-out filthy. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 2, Buffalo 0

Recap: After a shaky first two periods that looked a tad too much like their putrid performance against the Flyers, and featured nothing noteworthy other than a rare pair of diving penalties, the Bruins finally got their act together in the final frame.

David Krejci beat Ryan Miller from the doorstep with 7:06 to go in regulation, scoring the game's first goal more than 52 minutes into play. Less than three minutes later, Nathan Horton found the back of the net for the third game in a row in similar fashion. His insurance marker wasn't even needed, as Anton Khudobin stopped all 26 shots he faced in the victory.

Records: Boston 22-8-4, 48 points; Buffalo 13-17-6, 32 points

Key Play of the Game: Milan Lucic did a great job of weaving through traffic in the slot and found Matt Bartkowski at the point, who made a nice timely feed to Nathan Horton in the slot. His bids were denied, but Krejci was there to bang home the rebound for the game-winning goal.

Connolly's Commendations: For the sake of finally bestowing some feel-good vibes upon the Krejci line, we'll give them credit for coming to life in the third, putting in some serious effort and generating the only offense Boston could muster at the tail end fo back-to-back contests. They finished the night with a combined five points.

Khudobin's strong performance is so huge for a B's team that didn't have a whole lot going for them down Ryan Miller's end of the ice and, more importantly, badly needed a win after a pair of frustrating losses. 

Kudos to to the Bruins' penalty killers in this one. Buffalo had been on a solid run on the PP of late, and the B's stopped all four of their man advantages.

Connolly's Critiques: No shots for Jordan Caron. No hits for Jordan Caron. No blocked shots for Jordan Caron. Just over seven minutes of ice time for Jordan Caron. And yet, No. 38 got five of his 10 shifts in the third period. I don't get it either.

Notes: Bartkowski was inserted back into the lineup, with Aaron Johnson serving as the healthy scratch. Steve Ott and Tyler Seguin were deemed guilty of embellishing in the first period.

Final Thoughts: After all the criticism the B's have deservedly received over the last few days, we could just as easily keep that rolling and nitpick their lackluster showing in the first 40-plus minutes tonight, but I'm tired of complaining. You're probably tired of complaining. So we'll just salute Khudobin and Co. for getting the job done. 

Next: The Bruins will square off with the Sens at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ