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5 Observations: Bruins top Sabres 5-1

Ristolainen and Sabres lose their fifth game of year to Bruins
Posted at 9:32 PM, Apr 22, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — For the second time this week and fifth time this season the Boston Bruins knocked off the Buffalo Sabres with a 5-1 win. Arttu Ruotsolainen scored the only Sabres goal as they fall to 12-28-7 on the season.

5 Observations from Thursday's loss:

Pitiful power play

In two games against the Bruins this week the Sabres are 0-for-11 with the man advantage. With this abysmal of a performance on the power play, the Bruins can play even more aggressive than usual because they know, when they take penalties, the Sabres won’t capitalize. You can’t even make the argument that it’s just bad luck for the Sabres because you can count on one hand how many quality chances they’ve generated.

Borgen back at it

In his first game back in more than two months, Will Borgen looked confident and comfortable. The 24-year-old defenseman was actually the second oldest defenseman that skated for the Sabres on Thursday night. In a year where so much has gone wrong, the Sabres future on the blue line looks bright with Dahlin, Jokiharju, Bryson, Samuelsson, and Borgen.

Suplex City

Rasmus Ristolainen tackled a Bruins player on Thursday night. It was his second penalty of the evening & one of the many head-scratching plays he made. With Colin Miller scratched on Thursday to make room for Will Borgen, it makes you wonder if the Sabres would ever actually sit down their veteran defender for a game or two. I doubt they will, but you could make the case that Miller deserves to be playing more than Ristolainen.

Ruotsolainen continues to impress

Not to be confused with the Sabres defenseman, Arttu Ruotsolainen scored his third goal in his eighth NHL game Thursday night thanks to a pretty finish on a saucer pass from Anders Bjork. Albeit a small sample size, the 23-year-old from Finland is looking like a player who should be on the roster next season. With an expanded role it’s not unrealistic to think of him as someone who can score 15 or 20 goals a season.

Not the first star

On Tuesday, the NHL’s reigning first star of the week kept the Sabres within striking distance of the Bruins. Two days later, Dustin Tokarski struggled as the Bruins found the back of the net five times. Not all the goals were his fault, but Boston’s second of the night from Matt Grzelcyk was one he’d certainly want back. On Friday, we expect Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to make his NHL debut. In 14 games with Rochester this season, Luukkonen has a 3.60 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage.