Craig Smith potted three goals notching his second career hat trick as the Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-2 on Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins came out flying in the first period generating numerous scoring chances and zone time early on. It was a scoreless game until the red hot second line aka the red bull line because Krecji finally got his wings (Smith and Hall) scored mid first to give the Bruins the early lead 1-0.
Things seemed to be going on all Bruins in the first period until a wacky clearing attempt with 1 second left on a Bruins power play found its way onto Buffalo forward Riley Sheahan’s stick who was in on a breakaway and beat Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman’s glove side tying the game 1-1 heading into the second period.
The Bruins would not take their feet off the gas though, as the Captain Patrice Bergeron who was suffering an 8-game goalless drought got a scrappy rebound goal off a point shot from Bruins d-man Jeremy Lauzon making it 3-1 heading into the third period.
This is when it got ugly for Buffalo.
The Bruins behind two more goals from Craig Smith scored 3 third period goals to make it 6-1 and Buffalo would tack on one more before the game was over, making the final score 6-2. The Bruins will look forward to their next matchup against the gritty New Jersey Devils on Monday.
CRAIG SMITH: This goes without saying as Craig Smith found himself all over the stat sheet on Saturday potting his second career hat trick while continuing to form chemistry with his new linemates David Krecji and Taylor Hall. Smith now brings his goal total to 13 and has been a man on a mission over this past month registering multipoint performances across the board in numerous games.
NICK RITCHIE: Nick Ritchie found himself switching from 3rd line to 4th line back and forth for most of the game but that didn’t stop him from contributing on the score sheet. He tallied his 13th of the season doing what he does best; parking his big frame in front of the net. Ritchie has made a living in the crease this year and has given the Bruins much needed secondary scoring when needed. Ritchie also had a very nice defensive play in the first, preventing an odd man rush and making sure the Bruins matched up man by man. He limited time and space afternoon long and had as strong of a game as anyone out on the ice today.
SEAN KURALY: Kuraly has been struggling to find the scoring touch this season, but tallied his first goal in over 20+ games today and showed us his notorious Kuraly leap to the fans which was really refreshing to see. It was a greasy goal and well earned goal for Kuraly who continues to wreak havoc on the forecheck and getting in shooting lanes. The goals will come for Kuraly if he keeps playing like he did today.
With Buffalo barely staying afloat after 20 minutes of hockey being tied 1-1 they still had life. It wasn’t until the second Bruins goal that Buffalo started to crumble. Who else but the Captain to turn the tides back in the Bruins favor as Bergeron is now one goal shy of having yet another 20 goal season, if he does score one more goal it will be his 12th season with 20+ goals in the NHL.