Coyle, Ullmark lead Bruins to 4-1 win over Sabres
Charlie Coyle had a goal and and two assists, Linus Ullmark made 35 saves against his former team and the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night.
Taylor Hall added a goal and an assist, and Brad Marchand tallied two assists as the Bruins rebounded from a 6-3 loss Wednesday in Philadelphia to salvage a split on its first road trip of the season. David Pastrnak and Tomas Nosek also scored for Boston.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Ullmark was “excellent” in his first start and “gave us a chance to win.”
“Good for Linus,” Cassidy said. “I’m sure he wanted to play well here specifically, and play well in his first game no matter where he played. But, more importantly here.”
Ullmark, who signed a four-year, $20 million contract with the Bruins in July after playing six seasons with the Sabres, said winning his Bruins debut in Buffalo “was very special.”
“It’s definitely going to be one of those lifelong memories,” Ullmark said.
The Sabres got a goal from Victor Oloffson in their first loss of a four-game homestand. Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots.
“We have to make sure that we learn from it and become better because of it,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “It’s nice to be able to play tomorrow, even though there could be a fatigue factor. We need to play more efficient.”
Ullmark made 15 of his saves in the opening period, his best coming on a Buffalo power play when he used the heel of his left skate to stop a backhand shot from Dylan Cozens that slipped between Ullmark’s pads.
“He was a brick wall tonight,” Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo said. “He held us in that game, throughout the first two periods, especially.”
Olofsson scored with 5:25 remaining in the third to end Ullmark’s shutout bid. The Sabres outshot their opponent for the fourth straight game, but couldn’t continue the momentum from a three-game win streak.
“It was a big learner for us, for sure,” Olofsson said. “We feel happy with the way we played. I think we’ll take a lot with us in this game.”
Coyle scored on a power play to give the Bruins a three-goal lead about five minutes into the second period. It was the first power-play goal the Sabres allowed this season after nine successful penalty kills.
Marchand threaded a pass from the right circle past three Sabres’ sticks to set up Coyle on the left side of the net. Marchand also had a hand in the Bruins’ first goal when he took the puck from Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin along the end boards, received a backhand pass from Patrice Bergeron and fed Pastrnak for a one-timer from the right slot.
Coyle set up Nosek for a tap-in from the left edge of the crease to make it 2-0 toward the end of the first.
Hall assisted on Nosek’s goal and scored into the empty net in the closing minutes of the third period. Hall, who played 37 games for the Sabres last season before he was traded to Boston, drew boos from the crowd of 7,820 in his first game back in Buffalo with fans in attendance.
Bruins: F Nick Foligno (upper body) is day-to-day after he left Wednesday’s game in the second period. … F Craig Smith was in the lineup after being held out of Thursday’s practice with a minor injury.
Sabres: C Cody Eakin (undisclosed) sat out and will miss at least one more game due to an injury sustained when he crashed into a net during Wednesday’s practice. … D Mattias Samuelsson (lower body) skated with the team Friday for the first time this season.
Bruins: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.
Sabres: Visit former coach Lindy Ruff and the New Jersey Devils in road opener on Saturday.