Charlie Coyle fires the puck past Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for the go-ahead goal in the third period, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 win Thursday night at TD Garden. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

BOSTON — David Krejci and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist, and the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Thursday night.

David Pastrnak scored his 199th career goal for Boston just 1:16 into the game, and Charlie Coyle snapped a 2-all tie on a breakaway midway through the third period for his first goal in two months.

“We gave up an early one in the third and we didn’t get down on it,” Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He gave us the boost back.”

Taylor Hall also scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask finished with 29 saves.

Cassidy said Rask, who missed 11 games in March and early April because of an upper-body injury, was solid in net and that it’s good to see the Bruins’ top goalie playing well with the playoffs only a few weeks away.

“He’s starting to string some together, that’s for sure,” Cassidy said.


The Bruins extended their lead to six points over the Rangers for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division by taking the first of back-to-back games against the last-place Sabres, who fell to 13-31-7.

Casey Mittelstadt and Sam Reinhart scored for the Sabres. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 35 shots, helping keep Buffalo in it until the Bruins closed it out with three unanswered goals in the third.

Reinhart tied it 1:43 into the third with his 23rd goal of the season, but the Sabres couldn’t catch the Bruins again.

“When they get the lead, they play with it well. They frustrate other teams and that’s something that we can kind of learn from,” Buffalo’s Drake Caggiula said.

Coyle put Boston back up 3-2 on a breakaway 7:58 into the third period. He intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, then slipped between Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolaine for a clean breakaway on Luukkonen.

“We were battling. Boston is a tough team. That’s how they play. They play physical,” Buffalo defenseman Jacob Bryson said. “I thought we stood our ground. I thought we played well and we had our chances. … It was a good game. They just capitalized on a few more chances than we did.”



Krejci’s power-play goal in the final second of the first period barely beat the buzzer. The puck hit the post, bounced off Luukkonen’s hip and caromed into the net. Replays showed the puck made it across the goal line with four-tenths of a second remaining. Reinhart had five seconds left in his penalty for tripping Pastrnak.


Coyle’s goal was his sixth of the season and ended a 28-game scoring drought, the longest of his career. It was first goal since he scored against the New York Rangers on Feb. 28.

“I always want to contribute. You want to contribute every game. But it’s a team game and it usually is kind of scattered throughout,” Coyle said. “It’s nice to see that go in and help my team win. I’m happy about it for sure. I’m not going to downplay that.


Marchand’s goal was into an empty net after the Sabres pulled Luukkonen for an extra skater. Marchand made a steal deep in his own end, then took a wrist shot that got in under the crossbar from the other end of the ice with 1:34 left in the third.

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