Originally posted on Tonight's Healthy Scratches  |  Last updated 2/8/12

With the ship rapidly sinking on a once-promising season, the Sabres, picked by many to contend for the Northeast Division title, were in need of a lift emotionally as much as they needed two points in the standings.

Sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference and a country mile out of a playoff spot, Buffalo welcomed the hated Boston Bruins in to town. It was in a game against these same Bruins, mind you, that the Sabres downfall began.

On November 12, Milan Lucic introduced Ryan Miller to his elbow as Miller had wandered well out of his crease, concussing the Buffalo netminder in the process. The Bruins went on to win the game, 6-2, as they continued to climb out of their early season Stanley Cup hangover.

The Sabres though, who were 10-5-0 at the time, were never the same. They had been the laughing stock of the league for not only falling far below expectations, but hardly even standing up for their embattled, albeit rather whiny, goaltender when hit.

Things had gotten so bad for Buffalo that even head coach Lindy Ruff couldn't stay out of harm's way. Ruff was forced to watch tonight's game from the comfort of a luxury box while assistant coach James Patrick took over bench boss duties. You know, up here with us healthy scratches.

Though they're at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference, the Sabres offered some much-needed retribution to the current Northeast Division leaders.

Buffalo dismantled the big, bad Bruins on the scoreboard, 6-0, chasing starting goaltender Tuukka Rask from the net early in the second period.

Miller stopped all 36 shots in what was easily his best effort of the season, getting some help from the referees in the latest goal waved off due to "goaltender interference." But that was yesterday's story. It's safe to say this game may have meant a bit more to him than most.

Jason Pominville had two goals courtesy of a pair of Ville Leino assists, who has come under fire for his own play this season, which has left plenty to be desired after signing a six-year, $27 million contract in July.

The Sabres didn't back down from any physical challenge either, though Shawn Thornton and Lucic may have gotten the best of the fisticuffs tonight:

Thornton's second bout of the night (we'll nicely describe it as a decisive victory) came under some scrutiny because it was originally thought Thornton left the ice, the same reason Milan Lucic was wrongfully ejected from last month's Stanley Cup rematch with Vancouver.

Officially, there were six fighting majors and 90 penalty minutes given out over the course of the contest. Thornton and Lucic accounted for 39 of them.

The highlights to this game, which might as well be played while Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" blares in the background, was reminiscent of the blood bath on Long Island from a year ago between the then-lowly (okay, still pretty lowly) Islanders and the Penguins, except with a semblance of civility.

If only for night, Sabres fans were allowed to enjoy themselves inside First Niagara Center, perhaps for the first time since before Halloween. While it likely won't amount to much in the standings (though they did jump three teams with the win), it was a message to the league that Buffalo is tired of being taken lightly.

Don't worry, you're not the only one wondering how well it will be received.

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