Boston, MA - The Tampa Bay Lightning are now 30-7-2 on the season, which is a record good for sixty-two points and a commanding first place stranglehold over the Atlantic Division. This is the division that the Boston Bruins also happen to be playing in and they have struggled with the teams atop the standings all season. Below the Lightning are the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are 26-11-2, and the Buffalo Sabres, who are 21-12-6. The Bruins, currently in fourth place, are 21-14-4. But they're now just two points back from taking over the Sabres for the first time in a while and it couldn't have come at a better time, as many of their top players, including Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk, are returning to the fold.
The Bruins were emerging from a two game skid when they faced off against the Sabres. Their losses came to the Carolina Hurricanes, who thumped Boston, 5-3, despite a two goal effort from Ryan Donato. Then, five goals were allowed on defense once again when the New Jersey Devils downed Boston by a score of 5-2, with the only Bruins goals coming from Bergeron and Chris Wagner.
However, the winning ways returned to Boston in a crucial and pivotal divisional matchup with the Sabres last night as they decided to place Tuukka Rask in goal, en route to his twenty-six saves during the game. The only two goals allowed by Rask came early in the first period and early in the second by Marco Scandella and Johan Larsson, respectively. Because of these quick shots from Buffalo, Boston found themselves mounting comebacks multiple times during the game.
An unassisted goal from Noel Acciari, his first of the season, evened the score at 1-1 in the first period. A power play goal from DeBrusk was assisted by Torey Krug and David Pastrnak and it came very late in the game, allowing Boston to once again tie it at 2-2 and force overtime. The victory was eventually sealed early in overtime by Sean Kuraly, as assisted by Matt Grzelcyk and Kevan Miller, to allow Boston an electrifying, come from behind victory!
Boston will look to further chip away at the Sabres' hold of third place when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks during the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.