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Sunday, January 4, 2009
What will it take to beat the Bruins? Uh, some guy named Matt Ellis apparently
It was bound to happen sooner or later, the Boston Bruins (just like the Celtics proved a couple weeks back) can't win every single game. It's just not possible as much as local bandwagon fans would like to dream while they sleep in their crisp new Milan Lucic jerseys.
Still, it was surprising that as the Bruins (29-6-4) fell 4-2 to the Sabres (19-15-5) yesterday afternoon at the Garden that the No. 1 star would be some bum named Matt Ellis (2 goals, 1 assist).
At 5:08 into the first, Buffalo had a 2-0 advantage as Ellis (Henrik Tallinder, Jason Pominville) and Thomas Vanek (power-play goal from Derek Roy and Pominville) both put pucks past B's goalie Tim Thomas (21 saves).
Phil Kessel cut it to 2-1 with his 24th of the season, on a power-play from Marc Savard and Milan Lucic later in the first.
The Sabres put it out of reach when Ellis scored again, this time in the second from Ales Kotalik and Daniel Paille.
Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton scored on a wicked snap-shot (from Martin St. Pierre and Shane Hnidy) but Buffalo made it a two-goal lead again when Paul Gaustad (Andrej Sekera, Ellis) banked the puck off Hnidy's skate in front of Thomas.
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 11-2 in the third but they never seemed to have the normal jump in their skates that has become the norm this season. Plus, no shots were getting through to Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller (29 saves) or Boston simply had bad luck (like when Savard put a puck wide when half the net was empty).
It wasn't Boston's day clearly and as a result, the 14-game home win-streak is over and ditto for the 10-game overall win-streak.
The offensively inept Minnesota Wild come to the Garden on Tuesday night as the B's will look to start a new winning-streak.