In their first battle with the Boston Bruins since the 6-2 drubbing the defending Stanley Cup champions handed them 10 days ago, the Buffalo Sabres accomplished nearly everything they set out to accomplish.
On Milan Lucic's first shift, centre Paul Gaustad made up for the lack of response he called "embarrassing" a week and a half ago, conspicuously lining up next to him, so as to deliver that response, belatedly. The result was the staged fight I figured we'd see early on.
Lucic won the fight, but that's okay. This wasn't about winning; it was about Gaustad making up for what he felt was a failing 10 days ago, and sending a message to both teams that the Sabres weren't about to roll over this time.
Of course, it's one thing to do so in a planned fight; it's another thing to follow it up in the heat of the moment, and the Sabres did that as well. When Brad Marchand took a liberal run at Nathan Gerbe, the whole team stood up.
Again, Paul Gaustad was the first to the scene, wastin...