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Kinkaid, Bruins inflict fifth straight loss on Sabers

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BUFFALO — Keith Kinkaid made 30 saves on his season debut, and Patrice Bergeron scored twice to help the Boston Bruins defeat the Buffalo Sabers 3-1 at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Kinkaid signed a one-year contract with Boston on July 13 after making an NHL start last season (December 15) with the New York Rangers.

“I did well I guess,” Kinkaid said with a laugh. “No, they came out early and often, so it was good to get into the game straight away and see some long shots. We ended up winning. Not the best first two periods, but I just wanted to give my team a chance, and they did the rest.”

Jakub Zboril scored his first NHL goal, and Brad Merchant had two assists for the Bruins (13-2-0), who have won three in a row.

Tagus Thompson marked, and Craig Anderson made 27 saves for the Sabers (7-8-0), who have lost five in a row.

“Bitter taste in your mouth,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said. “We have a group that I’ve said before is not happy. [ticks] remove them. It’s a very good thing for us, it’s that we recruited competitive people. We know they are young, but we recruited competitive people for this reason.

“When these kinds of things happen, they don’t like it. They want to fix it, and I think the silver lining is that they know they can fix it. We have to keep learning experience to acquire know-how.”

Video: [email protected]: Bergeron kicks the puck and scores PPG

Thompson scored shorthanded to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 5:17 of the first period when he stripped down David Pastrnak of the puck inside the Sabers blue line, skated David Krejciand slid the puck past Kinkaid’s left pad.

He has scored in three consecutive games (four goals) and has 10 goals in his last eight games.

“Tage is a one-man wrecking crew,” Anderson said. “When the puck is on his stick, you know something explosive is going to happen. The guy is a unique player, and he’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. It’s fun to see. , work hard, create stuff. Now it’s up to everyone to follow suit.”

The Sabers had the opportunity to add to their lead after the defender Charlie McAvoy took back-to-back penalties at 8:54 and 11:04 of the second period, but the Bruins’ penalty kill limited them to three shots.

Bergeron then tied the game 1-1 on the power play for Boston at 18:51, scoring with a backhand after a slapshot from Marchand caressed it against the Bruins forward. Jake DeBrusk.

“Our penalty kill has been great all year and it’s given us momentum,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “Our special teams have been carrying us lately because the power play came with that goal to tie it all at the end of the second period, which gave us momentum heading into the third.”

Zboril gave Boston a 2-1 lead at 12:31 of the third period, scoring from the top of the left face-off circle on a pass from Tomas Nosekwho pushed the Sabers forward Jack Quinn of the puck through the half-wall.

“I just saw ‘Nosey’ carrying the puck and I think he tried to look away at me, so I yelled at him and he gave me the puck,” Zboril said. “I just took him to the net and he went in.”

Video: [email protected]: Zboril puts Bruins ahead with first NHL goal

The defenseman, playing his 65th NHL game, was selected by the Bruins in the first round (13th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

“I’ve waited long enough for this, and it feels good to finally be rewarded,” he said.

Bergeron scored from the slot at 18:11 for the 3-1 final.

“You want to win every game,” Thompson said. “We don’t go into games just hoping to win. We’re going there to try and top them and I think we’ve done that for the most part. But it’s a good hockey team. You give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. That’s kind of what happened tonight.

“We played well for 55 minutes and then a small turnover in the [defensive] area and they put him in the back of the net. They are opportunists. You give them chances to score. Most NHL teams, good teams will do it. … Like I said, it’s just about being consistent for 60 minutes.”

REMARKS: Zboril is the eighth Bruins player and first defenseman to score his first NHL goal as the game-winner. … Bergeron has 680 wins with Boston, passing Johnny Bucyk (679) for second place in team history. Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque is first (770). … The Sabers wore Hockey Fights Cancer Night warm-up jerseys, with the surnames of cancer patients on the back. … captain of the Sabers Kyle Okposo did not play due to a lower body injury. “The best way to put it is probably it will be a few days off and then it will be day to day,” Granato said after the game.