Powerplay clicks all night; Sabres down the Bruins 7-4

Buffalo scores five powerplay goals and a shorthanded goal to get their first win of the Prospects Challenge

Brayton Wilson
September 09, 2017 - 6:58 pm

Photo: Buffalo Sabres / Bill Wippert

It was quite the bounce-back performance by the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at HarborCenter. After falling 4-3 in overtime on Friday to the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo put up seven goals on the Boston Bruins to grab their first win at the Prospects Challenge.

Of the seven goals, the Sabres scored five powerplay goals and a shorthanded goal to help propel them to a 7-4 win.

The Sabres made a couple of lineup changes heading into the night's action.

The most notable change was forward Alexander Nylander exiting the starting lineup. The Sabres say that Nylander will sit out the remainder of the Prospects Challenge as a precautionary reason with a lower-body injury.

Forward Eric Cornel was given the night off after playing Friday night. Forwards Alex Kile and Justin Danforth stepped into the lineup for the first time in this tournament. Also, defensemen Austin Osmanski and Carl Neill took a seat on Saturday night to give Brycen Martin and Arvin Atwal their chance at entering the lineup.

After goalie Jonas Johansson made 34 saves in the overtime loss to the Devils on Friday, he was given a night's rest for backup goalie Jake McGrath.

Compared to Friday, the Sabres came out with more jump in their game. Buffalo put up a few good chances early on, including a breakaway from Justin Bailey just 3:30 into the game but he was stopped by Bruins goalie, Luke Richardson.

Penalties were the theme for the Bruins throughout the night, and they headed to the box early after a hooking penalty against defenseman Connor Clifton.

On Buffalo's first crack at the powerplay, defenseman Brendan Guhle let a shot go from the point that was knocked down in front of the net. Sabres forward Hudson Fasching was camped in front of Richardson, and was able to find the loose rebound and net his first goal of the tournament.

Boston responded a little over four minutes later as Clifton threw a shot on goal that was re-directed into the net by forward, Justin Hickman. On the goal, it appeared as though Hickman had re-directed the puck intentionally with either his arm or body, but after a brief discussion the officials ruled it a good goal.

The period ended with the score tied 1-1, and the Bruins creating a majority of the chances.

However, just two minutes into the second period, Vasily Glotov generated another great rush which resulted in a penalty against Boston's Jesse Gabrielle.

42-seconds into the man-advantage, the Sabres went back on top, starting with a beautiful rush by Brendan Guhle. Guhle carried the puck into the offensive zone and dumped a pass to the left-side boards. Almost as soon as Smith had taken the pass, he returns the pass to Guhle who is streaking hard to the net. Guhle was right there to tap the puck into the net for his first goal of the tournament.

McGrath was very good all night long in net for the Sabres, making 35 saves on 39 shots faced. The one mistake on the night he made was three minutes after the goal from Guhle when he attempted a blind pass behind his back and in front of the net to Sean Kuraly. Kuraly buried the gift he was given for his first goal of the tournament and the game was tied again.

The Bruins had a chance to grab their first lead of the evening after Hudson Fasching is called for holding at the 7:30 mark of the second.

But it was Bailey who got redemption from a missed breakaway earlier in the game. After a Bruins defender fell, Cliff Pu sprung Bailey for a shorthanded breakaway where he faked out the goalie and was able to stuff it on past his leg.

The lead didn't last long as the Bruins tied the game once more just 40-seconds later on the powerplay. The Bruins moved the puck around, which created some room for Ryan Fitzgerald. He took a pass from Jack Studnicka in the slot, and he managed to find a hole through McGrath's blocker side.

The period ended with the game still tied, and the Bruins continuing to control a good portion of play.

Then the Bruins began to break down mentally at the start of the third period.

Just 1:12 in, Kuraly headed to the penalty box after taking a high-sticking penalty. A minute and a half later, Buffalo added another powerplay goal as Nick Baptiste let a one-timer go off the boards that beat Richardson to the far-side.

The game really took a turn when Fasching put a thunderous check on Bruins defenseman Emil Johansson just inside the Bruins' blue line. Fasching was called for a charge, but the energy in the building started to build in Buffalo's favor.

Less than three minutes later, the parade to the penalty box continued for Boston as defenseman Rob O'Gara headed to the box after checking Baptiste from behind. One minute later, Kuraly took his second penalty of the period for tripping.

While Boston was able to kill off the penalty to O'Gara, Buffalo tallied again on the man-advantage with a goal from C.J. Smith. The play started when Pu took the puck to the right of Richardson in net and took advantage of the space given to him. He was able to turn and feed a pass across the crease to a wide-open Smith for the goal.

45-seconds later, the Bruins headed back to the box as defenseman Charlie McAvoy took an undisciplined roughing penalty.

With 30-seconds to go in the man-advantage, Glotov made another brilliant play with his speed to get free and find a passing lane to Vaclav Karabacek. Karabacek was able to score his first goal of the tournament to really open things up for the Sabres and make the score 6-3.

The Bruins added another late powerplay goal from Anders Bjork with 1:45 to play, but Fasching sealed the deal with an empty-net goal from center ice just 40-seconds later.

The Sabres come away with the 7-4 win on Saturday, and will have a chance to win the Prospects Challenge for the second time in three years on Monday when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins. 



  • 0-0 TIE (11:40) - Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton is guilty of hooking and goes off to the penalty box.
  • 1-0 Sabres (12:12) - Hudson Fasching cashes in on a rebound in front of the Bruins net on the powerplay.
    • Assists: Brendan Guhle (1), Cliff Pu (1)
  • 1-1 TIE (16:21) - Justin Hickman crashes the net and is credited with a re-direction goal off of his body. After a discussion among the officials, the goal was considered a good goal.
    • Assists: Connor Clifton (1), Alex Gacek (1)

End of Period

Goal Summary:
 Fasching (1) - PP
BOS: Hickman (1)

Penalty Summary:
BOS: Clifton - Interference (2-min)

Shots on Goal:
 10; BOS - 14



  • 1-1 TIE (2:01) - Bruins forward Jesse Gabrielle goes off to the penalty box for slashing Vasily Glotov.
  • 2-1 Sabres (2:43) - Brendan Guhle taps in a pass from C.J. Smith on the powerplay for his first goal of the tournament.
    • Assists: C.J. Smith (1)
  • 2-2 TIE (5:42) - Bruins forward Sean Kuraly is handed a gift as goalie Jake McGrath blindly puts a back pass behind his net and on to Kuraly's stick.
    • Assists: NONE
  • 2-2 TIE (7:30) - Hudson Fasching goes to the penalty box for holding in the neutral zone.
  • 3-2 Sabres (8:00) - Justin Bailey makes a nice move on Luke Richardson on a shorthanded breakaway and slides the puck past his left pad for the goal.
    • Assists: Cliff Pu (2)
  • 3-3 TIE (8:40) - Bruins forward Ryan Fitzgerald lets a quick shot go that squeaks through the blocker side of Jake McGrath for a powerplay goal.
    • Assists: Jack Studnicka (1), Jakub Zboril (1)
  • 3-3 TIE (9:00) - Boston forward Justin Hickman is penalized for hooking, but the Bruins are successful in killing off the penalty.​
  • 3-3 TIE (13:55) - Bruins defenseman Rob O'Gara interferes with Sabres forward Justin Bailey and goes to the box for two minutes. Boston is able to kill off the penalty.

End of Period

Goal Summary:
 Guhle (1) - PP; Bailey (1) - SH
BOS: Kuraly (1); Fitzgerald (1) - PP

Penalty Summary:
BUF: Fasching - Holding (2-min.)
BOS: Hickman - Hooking (2-min.); O'Gara - Interference (2-min.)

Shots on Goal:
BUF - 5 (15); BOS - 10 (24)



  • 3-3 TIE (1:12) - Bruins forward Sean Kuraly heads off to the penalty box for high-sticking in front of the Bruins net. 
  • 4-3 Sabres (2:49) - Nick Baptiste blows a shot past Luke Richardson on the powerplay for his first goal of the Prospects Challenge.
    • Assists: Vasily Glotov (1), Vaclav Karabacek (1)
  • 4-3 Sabres (6:55) - Hudson Fasching is called for charging after a thunderous hit on Bruins defenseman Emil Johansson. Buffalo is able to kill off the penalty.
  • 4-3 Sabres (9:15) - Boston's Jakub Zboril and Buffalo's Anthony Florentino are each given roughing minors after a scuffle to the left of the Sabres net.
  • 4-3 Sabres (9:35) - Bruins defenseman goes off for checking Nick Baptiste from behind. Boston is successful in killing off the penalty.
  • 4-3 Sabres (9:35) - After some pushing and shoving following the check from behind on Baptiste, Arvin Atwal drops the gloves with Jake DeBrusk.
  • 4-3 Sabres (10:33) - Penalty troubles continue for the Bruins as forward Sean Kuraly is penalized for tripping.
  • 5-3 Sabres (11:55) - Cliff Pu feeds a cross-ice pass to C.J. Smith on the powerplay for his first goal of the tournament.
    • Assists: Cliff Pu (3), Nick Baptiste (1)
  • 5-3 Sabres (12:40) - Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy takes a roughing penalty and goes off for two minutes.
  • 6-3 Sabres (14:10) - Vasily Glotov finds Vaclav Karabacek on the powerplay for his first goal of the tournament.
    • Assists: Vasily Glotov (2), Hudson Fasching (1)
  • 6-3 Sabres (17:28) - Colin Blackwell heads to the penalty box for two minutes for high-sticking.
  • 6-4 Sabres (18:15) - Bruins forward Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson feeds a cross-ice pass to Anders Bjork on the powerplay and rips a one-timer past McGrath for his first goal of the tournament.
    • Assists: Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (1), Charlie McAvoy (1)
  • 7-4 Sabres (18:55) - Hudson Fasching nets the empty-netter from center ice for his second goal of the game
    • Assists: Brendan Guhle (2)

End of Regulation

Goal Summary:
BUF: Baptiste (1) - PP; Smith (1) - PP; Karabacek (1) - PP; Fasching (2) - ENG
BOS: Bjork (1) - PP

Penalty Summary:
BUF: Fasching - Charging (2-min.); Florentino - Roughing (2-min.); Atwal - Fighting (5-min.); Blackwell - High-Sticking (2-min.)
BOS: Kuraly - High-Sticking (2-min.); Zboril - Roughing (2-min.); O'Gara - Checking from Behind (2-min.); DeBrusk - Fighting (5-min.); Kuraly - Tripping (2-min.); McAvoy - Roughing (2-min.)

Shots on Goal:
BUF - 11 (26); BOS - 15 (39)


Sabres - 7; Bruins - 4


Game Notes:

  • The Bruins beat the Penguins prospects on Friday 3-2 in overtime

BUF - McGrath - 35 saves
BOS - Richardson - 20 saves

Power Plays:
BUF - 5 for 8 (62.5%)
BOS - 2 for 4 (50%)

Three Stars:
1.) Jake McGrath
2.) Justin Bailey
3.) Hudson Fasching

What's Next:

The Sabres prospects are off on Sunday before returning to action on Monday to close out the Prospects Challenge against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh dropped their opening appearance in overtime against Boston, but bounced back with a 6-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Hear the game on WGR Sports Radio 550 at 7 p.m. with Paul Hamilton, Brian Duff and Pat Malacaro on the call.

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