EditorsNote: Minor fixes
Brad Marchand had four assists, and Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves as the Boston Bruins rebounded from an embarrassing season-opening loss to blank the host Buffalo Sabres 4-0 on Thursday.
Zdeno Chara, Ryan Donato, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron scored goals for the Bruins, who were roughly 24 hours removed from a 7-0 beat-down by the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, played north of 22 minutes in his NHL debut. At 18 years, 175 days, he’s the second-youngest player to appear in a game for the Sabres behind fellow top pick Pierre Turgeon, who was 18 years, 41 days at the time of his first game in 1987.
Halak earned the 43rd shutout of his career in his first Bruins start. He saved 16 of 18 shots in relief of an ineffective Tuukka Rask on Wednesday.
Carter Hutton had 22 saves for the Sabres, who lost their season opener for the sixth consecutive season.
Boston scored for the first time this season at the 6:33 mark of the first period. Charlie McAvoy cleared the puck to Marchand, who rushed up ice and turned along the boards to find an open Chara. The 41-year-old defender put it above the shoulder of an aggressive Hutton for a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins added to that lead on the power play nine minutes later. Marchand received the puck from Bergeron and flipped it to Donato, who had the net wide open for a 2-0 advantage.
Not long after Hutton came up with a big save on a Sean Kuraly breakaway, Pastrnak made it 3-0 at 16:16 of the second period. David Krejci dished a feed from Marchand to Pastrnak, who went top shelf for the goal.
The Bruins received a scare when McAvoy hit the ice late in the second period after taking a slap shot off the inside part of his left foot. He skated off under his own power and returned for the third period.
The Sabres pulled their goalie with just under five minutes remaining in the third and had a power play for the last 38 seconds, but Bergeron scored an empty-netter with 12 seconds remaining.
—Field Level Media