Sabres could not hold lead, fall to Boston in overtime

Buffalo earns a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Bruins
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Despite Alex Tuch's first goal as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, the team could not hold a two-goal lead against the Boston Bruins. Buffalo was defeated 4-3 in overtime at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon.

Buffalo was able to kill off a penalty taken less than a minute into the game. Tuch was called for cross checking, but his teammates did not allow the Bruins any good scoring chances.

Vinnie Hinostroza was activated off of the NHL's COVID-19 Protocol list prior to the game, along with Jeff Skinner, and made his presence known. Hinostorza scored his sixth goal of the season partway through the opening period, giving Buffalo a 1-0 lead. Brett Murray and Rasmus Dahlin assisted on the goal.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 13 saves in the first period to keep Boston off of the scoresheet. The Sabres were credited with six shots against former teammate Linus Ullmark, as well.

The Sabres were penalized early in the second period, just like the first, but were able to kill it off. Skinner was called for hooking just 31 seconds into the middle stanza.

However, Boston tied the game 1-1 at even strength a minute later. Craig Smith was able to capitalize on a rebound attempt at the front of the net for his third goal of the year. Brad Marchand's one-time shot created the chance, as the forward and Charlie McAvoy were credited with the assists.

Skinner's 10th goal of the season came midway through the second period to put Buffalo back in front, 2-1. Tuch received the lone assist on the even strength goal, as it's his second point in as many games since being activated off of Injured Reserve and making his team debut earlier this week.

Tuch recorded his first goal with the Sabres, and second point of the game, with a power play goal late in the middle frame. Peyton Krebs made the pass that set up the goal, which is his first point with the Sabres. Krebs and Tage Thompson assisted on the power play goal that gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead.

The Bruins scored a pair of goals in less than a minute and a half to tie the game at 3-3 early in the third period. Nick Foligno's first goal with Boston trimmed the team's deficit back to a goal, 3-2. Meanwhile, former Sabres forward Taylor Hall notched his sixth goal of the year to even the score.

Neither team was able to get the go-ahead goal in the remainder of regulation. Buffalo was credited with 23 shots on goal through three periods, while the Bruins peppered Luukkonen with 40 shots.

Charlie Coyle was able to score 34 seconds into overtime to help the Bruins complete the comeback and send Buffalo to their third-straight loss following their extended Christmas break.

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GAME RECAP

Goal Summary:

First Period:
BUF: 6:33 - Vinnie Hinostroza (6) (Brett Murray, Rasmus Dahlin)
BOS: NONE

Second Period:
BUF: 11:32 - Jeff Skinner (10) (Alex Tuch); 19:11 - Alex Tuch (1) PPG (Peyton Krebs, Tage Thompson)
BOS: 3:47 - Craig Smith (3) (Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy)

Third Period:
BUF: NONE
BOS: 3:24 - Nick Foligno (1) (Jake DeBrusk); 4:49 - Taylor Hall (6) (Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy)

Overtime:
BUF: NONE
BOS: 0:34 - Charlie Coyle (8) (Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy)

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Penalty Summary:

First Period:
BUF: 0:13 - Alex Tuch (Cross checking - 2 min.); 7:07 - Anders Bjork (Boarding - 2 min.)
BOS: NONE

Second Period:
BUF: 0:31 - Jeff Skinner (Tripping - 2 min.); 14:17 - Alex Tuch (Interference - 2 min.)
BOS: 4:19 - Erik Haula (Holding the stick - 2 min.); 5:33 - Tomas Nosek (Tripping - 2 min.); 18:25 - Craig Smith (Hooking - 2 min.)

Third Period:
BUF: NONE
BOS: 13:27 - Craig Smith (Tripping - 2 min.)

Overtime:
BUF: NONE
BOS: NONE

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STATS OF THE GAME:

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Losi and Gangi

Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:

1.) Charlie Coyle - BOS
2.) Charlie McAvoy - BOS
3.) Alex Tuch - BUF

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What's next:

The Sabres will have a few days off from game action before taking on the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. EST with pregame coverage on WGR starting at 6 p.m. EST with Schopp and the Bulldog.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Brian Fluharty - USA TODAY Sports