Swayman stops 26 shots in Bruins' 7-0 rout of Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jeremy Swayman stopped 26 shots to post his second consecutive shutout, David Pastrnak matched a career-high by scoring his team-leading 48th goal, and the NHL-leading Bruins routed the reeling Buffalo Sabres 7-0 on Sunday.
Patrice Bergeron scored 15 seconds in and added two assists in a game the Bruins scored three times on their first seven shots. Jake DeBrusk had a goal and three assists while Garnet Hathaway and Hampus Linholm also scored.
Boston continued its domination over its Atlantic Division rival by improving to 19-1-1 in its past 21 meetings against the Sabres, and 9-0-1 in the past 10 since a 6-4 loss at Buffalo on April 23, 2021. The Bruins have now outscored the Sabres by a combined 14-1 in their past two outings following a 7-1 win at Boston on March 2.
Swayman, who was coming off a 36-save outing in a 3-0 win at Winnipeg on Thursday, blanked the NHL’s third-best offense. He now has four shutouts on the season, all coming in the span of 13 starts dating to a 6-0 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 16.
In closing a five-game road trip with three straight victories, the Bruins won their 26th road game to match a franchise record set in 1971-72. Boston’s 53 wins through 69 games match the team’s fourth-highest total, and are four short of the franchise record set during a 78-game season in 1970-71.
The Sabres dropped to 2-7-2 in their past 11 as part of a swoon that began immediately after they won five of six to move into eighth-place in the Eastern Conference standings. Buffalo squandered yet another opportunity to gain ground after opening the day sitting 11th, and six points behind the eighth-place Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 19 shots in dropping to 0-3-2 in his past five, a stretch in which he’s allowed 21 goals.
The Bruins bookended a three-goal first period with a three-goal third.
Brad Marchand set up the opening goal by getting to a loose puck to the right of Buffalo’s net and then making a no-look feed to Bergeron for a one-timer from the slot.
Jakub Zboril’s lengthy pass from his own zone caught the Sabres napping in allowing Hathaway to walk in alone and and beat Luukkonen on the short side at the 9:01 mark of the first period. And Debrusk scored less than three minutes later by converting Charlie Coyle’s no-look pass through the middle.
Bruins: C David Krejci was scratched due to what coach Jim Montgomery referred to as “soreness,” while D Dmitry Orlov was given the day off with Boston playing on consecutive days. They were replaced in the lineup by Zboril and LW A.J. Greer.
Sabres: D Kyle Clague played for the first time after sitting five games in replacing Jacob Bryson. RW JJ Peterka returned after a one-game rest, and replaced Vinnie Hinostroza.
Coach Don Granato said newly signed Northeastern goalie Devon Levi is with the team but likely won’t be able to practice until at least Tuesday while awaiting immigration clearance. Levi signed with Buffalo on Friday after completing his junior season. He won the Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goalie a year ago, and is a finalist this year.
Bruins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Sabres: Host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
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John Wawrow, The Associated Press