If you've learned anything from the Boston Bruins this season (that's assuming that you're still paying attention or ever bothered to waste your time on this hopeless franchise in the first place) it's that they'll do whatever is unexpected of them in any given game.
If they've been playing great, they're liable to be awful in the next game and lose. On the other hand, once you've left them for dead (which I've done so many times this season I've lost count) is when they step up and produce absurd results like Saturday's 5-0 win over Calgary.
Given that they were coming off one of their best performances of the season, it should have been no surprise that the B's faltered last night, losing 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden.
All the usual suspects: shoddy goaltending by Tim Thomas, bad bounces, Dennis Wideman being a waste of life and struggling to score showed up against a team they could very possibly meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in a few weeks.
Things looked good when a red-hot David Krejci (his 17th, from Zdeno Chara) gave Boston (34-29-12) a 1-0 lead 7:43 into the game with a nifty move around Miller (40 saves) that he finished by poking the puck with his backhand.
Barely three minutes into the game Marco Sturm had drawn a penalty shot but he was predictably stuffed by Miller, the Team USA hero.
Less than four minutes after the Krejci goal, Buffalo (42-23-10) gained a 2-1 lead thanks to two goals that were deflected in off Wideman. Haha, really. Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, the leading candidate for rookie of year, scored and then Paul Gausted (from Myers) added to Wideman and Thomas' season-long misery.
After a Dennis Seidenberg giveaway in the second period, Buffalo's Tim Kennedy made it 3-1 and Thomas' (11 saves) night was over as he got pulled for the sixth time this season. Tuukka Rask, who might as well play every remaining minute of the season, stepped in and stopped all 19 shots he faced.
Seidenberg got a little redemption late in the third as his long shot trickled in off Miller but the Bruins ran out of time before they could tie it up and sent it to overtime.
The good news is that Atlanta lost last night as well so the B's are still two points up on the Thrashers for the eighth spot in the East and the right to be embarrassed by Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals in four quick games.
The B's are back at it tonight in New Jersey, another likely first round opponent.