Sabres fall flat in season opener, blanked in 4-0 loss to Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

It was supposed to be a night that was remembered, with the crowning of Jack Eichel as captain and the debut of No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin.

Instead, it was a night that felt and sounded all too familiar for fans inside KeyBank Center Thursday night.

The Sabres started slow, were booed off the ice after the first and second periods and were ultimately shutout in a 4-0 loss to the Bruins in the season opener.

Following the team’s morning skate, head coach Phil Housley warned his team needed to be prepared after the Bruins were smacked around and embarrassed in a 7-0 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion Captials.

The Sabres weren’t.  The Bruins had their way in the opening 40 minutes before the Blue & Gold started to push back and show some life. That too, was an all too familiar occurrence last season. 

Zdeno Chara opened the scoring nearly seven minutes into the game, entering the zone unmarked and then buried the cross ice feed from Marchand to make it a 1-0.

Ryan Donato added a power play tally later in the period, easily sliding Marchand’s one-timer pass past Carter Hutton to give Boston a two goal advantage.

Hutton provided a steady presence in the crease for the Blue & Gold bailing them out on several occasions.

The Sabres had their chances but squandered them.  Evan Rodrigues couldn’t bury a feed from veteran Jason Pominville and Eichel over passed to Jeff Skinner with a prime scoring opportunity which led to fans yelling “shoot” from the 300 level.

Rasmus Ristolainen suffered the same scorn from fans after entering the zone then fell down.

Two of their better chances came in the second period.  Kyle Okposo skated around the left side and cut toward Jaroslav Halak, who turned the veteran winger away.  Eichel followed that up by sending one off Halak’s facemask that bounced around in the crease before being covered up.

Sam Reinhart, who signed a two year contract extension several days into training camp, had his first prime opportunity nearly midway through the final frame but failed to bury the plastic.

Buffalo will look to rebound Saturday night when they host the New York Rangers. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

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