Tue, Feb 27, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Last-placed Sabres spoil Rick Nash’s Bruins debut


Kyle Okposo and the Eastern Conference’s last-place Buffalo Sabres head into the uncertainty of the NHL’s trade deadline sure of one thing — they were better than the retooled Bruins on Sunday by beating them 4-1 to spoil forward Rick Nash’s Boston debut.

What happens before the trade deadline is anyone’s guess, with the Sabres anticipated to make several deals, including one involving forward Evander Kane.

“I’ve been through it before,” Okposo said. “It’s obviously hard to see teammates go. That comes with not having the season that we want. So we just kind of have to sit back and wait and see, and be professional.”

Okposo and Benoit Pouliot scored on consecutive shots in the first period in a game the Sabres never trailed.

Evan Rodrigues and Marco Scandella also scored, while Chad Johnson stopped 34 shots for the Sabres, who snapped an 0-5-2 home skid against the Bruins.

Buffalo had not defeated Boston at home since a 5-4 overtime win on Feb. 26, 2014.

The Bruins, coming off a 4-3 loss at Toronto a night earlier, started flat while closing a five-game road swing on a day that began with them acquiring Nash in a trade with the New York Rangers.

Boston gave up three players, including forward Ryan Spooner and prospect defenseman Ryan Lindgren, as well as two draft picks, including their first-round selection this year.

Patrice Bergeron refused to use the road trip or the trade as reasons for the Bruins losing consecutive games for the first time since going 0-1-1 on Dec. 14 to 16 last year.

“There was only one new guy today,” Bergeron said. “We should know the system. We should know where to be and it wasn’t there.”

Anton Khudobin was not sharp in goal. He allowed four goals on 24 shots, including being beaten through the legs on Scandella’s goal from the right boards that put Buffalo up 4-1 in the opening minutes of the third period.

Nash said he felt fresh after playing his first game since the Rangers played Philadelphia the previous Sunday.

He was a healthy scratch during New York’s previous two games because the Rangers did not want to risk the possibility of Nash being hurt before he was dealt.

“I had my legs. It was my first game in a week so I was a bit nervous,” Nash said. “It’s definitely been a couple of strange days not being able to play, but that’s behind us and I’m happy to be a Bruin.”

The Bruins squandered an opportunity to move into second place in the Atlantic Division, a point ahead of the idle Maple Leafs.

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