BOSTON — Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk scored in Boston’s two chances in the shootout and the Bruins, with newcomer Taylor Hall, rebounded for a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Craig Smith and David Krejci scored in regulation for Boston, which had lost its last two games but improved to 4-2-1 in its last seven.
Former University of Maine goalie Jeremy Swayman made 21 saves for the Bruins and stopped Buffalo’s two shootout attempts.
“I heard he was really good at them, and obviously he was,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said of Swayman’s first NHL shootout.
Colin Miller and Rasmus Dahlin scored in regulation for the Sabres, who had won three of their last four. Dustin Tokarski made 32 saves.
“What I loved about this game is we didn’t feel good, we weren’t crisp, we weren’t sharp, we were messy,” said Sabres interim coach Don Granato. “They found it within to fight when things didn’t go right.”
Forwards Hall and Curtis Lazar made their debut with Boston against their old team, with Hall starting. They were acquired from Buffalo on Monday for forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in 2021.
“He’s world class,” Smith said of Hall, who was his linemate for the night. “It’s fun playing with him.”
Coyle scored between the pads, and DeBrusk went over Tokarski’s right shoulder.
“Not a lot of ‘puck luck’ (in regulation), but they both scored in the shootout,” Cassidy said. “You could tell they were feeling it.”
Dahlin’s shot from the point tied it with 8:07 left in regulation.
“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” Dahlin said. “After this game we’ve got more confidence. We’re young, but we learn every game.”
Dylan Cozens had a goal overturned because he batted it in with a high stick with 41.9 seconds left in OT.
The Bruins were coming off their most lopsided loss of the season in their last game — an 8-1 blowout against Washington on Sunday.
“We just have to stay even keel,” Smith said. “It was big to get the two points.”
Smith’s unassisted goal gave Boston a 2-1 edge 5:29 into the second when he intercepted Miller’s attempted clearing pass and fired a wrister past Tokarski. It was Smith’s ninth goal in his last 13 games.
Krejci’s goal tied it 13:20 into the first. He collected his own rebound and sent a rising backhander under the cross bar.
Tokarski kept it a one-goal game while Boston was piling up good chances in the second. He made a splendid stop with his left pad on Coyle’s bid from the edge of the crease.
Swayman’s best save came late in the second when he lunged forward to stop Cozens’ shot from in close. Defenseman Jarred Tinordi then blocked Kyle Okposo’s rebound with Swayman out of position.
The Sabres didn’t reach double digits in shots on goal until 7:06 left in the second.
Miller scored on a slap shot from the point 1:52 into the game.
Cassidy said after the morning skate that the players were energized by picking up Hall.
“I think to get a guy of Taylor’s magnitude, to have the extra layer of secondary scoring will be big for our guys,” he said. “Our guys are very receptive. … They’ll make him feel right at home.”
Cassidy said “we’re hoping for Thursday” for top goalie Tuukka Rask, who has been sidelined since leaving a game on March 25 after one period with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
He had missed the previous six games after grabbing near his back in a game on March 7 before returning for that one period.
DON’T FORGET ME
Bjork picked up the secondary assist on Miller’s goal.
Defenseman Mike Reilly also played his first game with Boston after being acquired from Ottawa on Sunday for a third-round pick in 2022.
Boston’s top defenseman, Charlie McAvoy, returned after missing the previous four games with an upper-body injury.
Sabres: At the Capitals on Thursday night.
Bruins: Host the Islanders on Thursday in the first of consecutive nights at TD Garden.
By Ken Powtak