The Buffalo Sabres got the third period started against the Boston Bruins by tying the game at 2-2, thanks to a Sam Reinhart goal. However, the Sabres coughed up a trio of goals in the final period of regulation en route to a 5-2 defeat at TD Garden on Thursday night.
The Bruins got off to a fast start in this one, as it took just 76 seconds for the home side to break the scoreless tie. Star forward David Pastrnak's one-time shot got behind goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, with help from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
It was the second time in Luukkonen's young career that he allowed a goal on the first shot taken by his opposition.
With just over 14 minutes gone in the opening period, the Sabres found the early equalizer. The trio of Casey Mittelstadt, Arttu Ruotsalainen and Rasmus Asplund teamed up to apply some pressure in the Boston zone, with Mittelstadt the beneficiary.
Boston re-claimed the lead with 0.3 seconds left in the first period, as center David Krejci's one-timer on the power play slid across the ice and past the goal line after striking the post with time winding down on the frame.
After a scoreless middle stanza, the Sabres tied the score 2-2 just 1:43 into the third. Victor Olofsson won a battle behind the Bruins net and found a red-hot Reinhart out in front of Tuukka Rask.
The game did not stay tied long, though, as Boston forward Charlie Coyle cashed in on a Reinhart turnover six minutes later. Coyle's sixth goal of the season made it 3-2 Bruins with 12:02 to play in regulation.
Boston extended their edge to 4-2 with 3:17 to go when former Sabres forward Taylor Hall scored his second goal against the blue and gold since being traded on April 12.
Less than two minutes later, the Bruins all but iced things in their own building with an empty-net goal from Marchand.
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) David Krejci - BOS
2.) Charlie Coyle - BOS
3.) Tuukka Rask - BOS
The blue and gold stay in town to take on the Bruins again on Saturday afternoon, May 1. Puck drop at TD Garden is set for 1 p.m. ET with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Brian Koziol starting at 12 p.m. ET on the radio home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.