Bruins down Sabres for 5th straight win
Thomas makes 21 saves in Bruins' win
Tyler Seguin is exceeding the promise he showed as a rookie last season with the Boston Bruins.
Seguin scored two goals and had an assist as the Bruins increased their winning streak to five with a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Seguin has already matched his rookie total with 11 goals, which leads the surging Stanley Cup champions.
"You can never score too much," Seguin said. "Right now I'm burying most of my opportunities. But if you look at my two goals, I don't know what I really did. It was really just the linemates' work and me just finishing."
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron set up Seguin's goals with nice passes that led to one-timers. Seguin returned the favour with an assist to Marchand as he scored and gave the Bruins a 6-1 lead with 10:08 left.
The Bruins (8-7) have scored 30 goals during their longest winning streak since last spring and have a winning record for the first time this season.
"It's pretty to watch. As a goalie, it's OK to sit back and watch your team play like that sometimes. You've just got to be ready if it comes back your way," said Tim Thomas, who had 21 saves for Boston. "We've seen some beautiful plays."
Marchand had a goal and two assists, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly had a goal and an assist each, and Zdeno Chara assisted on two goals for Boston.
The Bruins got goals 16 seconds apart from Seguin and Nathan Horton in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.
Ryan Miller stopped 19 of 22 shots before being pulled after the second period.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Miller had a bit of a sore neck after being levelled by Milan Lucic when Miller came out of his crease to play the puck and take away Lucic's breakaway opportunity in the first period.
Miller wasn't on the bench during the third period, but stuck around to provide expletive-laden post-game comments.
Lucic has "50 pounds on me and he runs me like that? It's unbelievable," Miller said. "Everyone in this city sees him as a big tough solid player. I respected him for how hard he played. That was gutless."
The Sabres got a power play after Lucic's collision, but failed to capitalize on it and build on a 1-0 lead. The Bruins tied it on a goal by Peverley early in the second, the first of six straight goals for Boston.
Seguin put the Bruins up 2-1 when he and Marchand broke free for a 2-on-1 break with 6:31 left in the second. Marchand grabbed a turnover at centre ice, then slipped a crossing pass to set up an easy chip in for Seguin's 10th goal.
"He's playing with a lot more confidence. He's making things happen," Chara said.
Fans didn't even have a chance to sit down before Horton skated down the left side and fired a wrist shot past Miller to put Boston ahead 3-1 with 6:15 remaining.
It was the ninth time this season the Bruins have scored two goals in less than a minute.
Miller was replaced by Jhonas Enroth for the third period. Buffalo's backup didn't stand a chance when Peverley slipped a pass across the crease to Kelly for an easy tap-in with 14:32 left, and again on Seguin's second of the game.
Bergeron broke to the left and dropped a backhand pass to the slot, where Seguin fired a one-timer past Enroth to make it 5-1 with 12:49 remaining.
Marc-Andre Grangnani scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo late in the third period.
Buffalo took a 1-0 lead on a misplay by Thomas, who got handcuffed on a shot by Thomas Vanek. Thomas knocked the puck back behind the net, and Vanek banked the rebound off Thomas' pads and into the net with 14:22 left.
The game was chippy throughout, especially after Lucic's run-in with Miller. Miller's mask flew off and he took a wild swipe from his seat at Lucic with his goalie stick just before two Sabres pounced on Lucic.
Lucic was given a minor penalty for charging.
"I thought it was a major," Ruff said. "I thought if it was open season on goalies then let's get at it."