BOSTON (AP) - The way Tuukka Rask is playing, the Boston Bruins just need a little bit of scoring from their top offensive players on the power play to be in good shape.
They got both on Monday night.
Rask rebounded from his first loss with 32 saves for his second shutout, Brad Marchand and David Krejci scored power-play goals in the second period, and the Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0.
David Pastrnak had a power-play goal and Riley Nash scored for the Bruins, who won for the fourth time in five games. Rask recorded his 32nd career shutout after losing 5-2 against the New York Rangers on Saturday. He improved to 7-1 this season.
“If you just look at the stats probably it’s got to be one of the best starts because I think usually the starts are the worst part of my season,” Rask said.
The Bruins allowed two short-handed goals on Saturday.
“We’ve just got to keep taking it easy. I thought we did a better job of finding the seams at the net and jumping on those loose pucks and rebounds,” said coach Claude Julien, who collected his 400th career victory with the Bruins.
Robin Lehner made 38 saves for Buffalo, but he fell to 3-7-3 lifetime against Boston. It was just the Sabres’ second loss in six games.
Following a scoreless opening period that lacked many quality scoring chances, the Bruins moved ahead on Marchand’s goal 5:44 into the second. Matt Beleskey got the rebound from the edge of the crease and passed it to Marchand, who fired a wrister that hit off Lehner’s mask and top of his stick before going into the net.
Skating with a two-man, power-play advantage midway into the period, Boston increased its lead when Krejci one-timed a shot from the top of the left circle that slipped inside the left post for his first goal of the season.
“We’ve got to keep our cool — no matter what’s going on out there,” Sabres captain Brian Gionta said. “You’ve got to stay composed, whether you’re mad at it or not and don’t agree with it.”
Zemgus Girgensons was in the penalty box after getting a double-minor for high-sticking Beleskey, and defenseman Jake McCabe joined him for tripping and added to the Sabres’ trouble after getting a two-minute misconduct for banging the glass on his way into the box.
“It was tough to battle back from that,” Buffalo center Ryan O’Reilly said of the 2-0 deficit.
The Sabres had an excellent scoring bid after falling behind 1-0 and were still short-handed, but Rask robbed Gionta on a clean breakaway by making a blocker save on a backhander.
Nash’s shot from along the boards deflected in off defenseman Dmitry Kulikov’s stick, making it 3-0 at 14:41. Kulikov banged his stick at the glass in frustration after the goal.
Pastrnak scored on a rebound after Lehner mishandled Austin Czarnik’s shot from the point.
NOTES: Julien smiled and said of his milestone victory: “Another number, I move on from those. Like I always say, it’s something I can cherish down the road. Right now I’ve just got to keep plugging away.” . Buffalo LW Tyler Ennis and Kulikov both missed the pre-game practice and were game-time decisions, but played. … Bruins RW Jimmy Hayes was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. … Former Boston University star and Hobey Baker award winner Jack Eichel hasn’t played this season for the Sabres, missing his 12th game with a high ankle sprain.
Sabres: Host the Senators on Wednesday in a rematch from Saturday that Buffalo won 2-1 in Ottawa.
Bruins: At Montreal on Tuesday for the second meeting between the longtime rivals.
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