BOSTON (AP) — Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak again showed they are one of the NHL’s most dangerous duos.
Marchand scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season, Pastrnak got his league-leading 20th and the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Thursday night.
Marchand and Pastrnak became the first teammates with 15 goals apiece in their team’s first 22 games since Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone in 2009-10, according to Sportsnet Stats.
Even with 73 points between them, Pastrnak isn’t ready to declare themselves the sport’s best offensive tandem.
“Definitely not. I’m not thinking about that,” Pastrnak said. “We’re just having great chemistry. We’ve been playing together for a while.”
Tuukka Rask stopped 36 shots to help the Bruins win for the third time in four games (3-0-1) following a season-high four-game skid.
Rask’s night included a candidate for save of the year. The 2013-14 Vezina Trophy winner wowed the crowd with a diving blocker save across a vacant net on Evan Rodrigues’ shot with Buffalo trailing 3-1 in the third period.
“I don’t think I’ve ever made a save like that,” Rask said. “It could be (the save of the year). I don’t often make highlights like that too often like that because I try to be in position to make saves. It’s fun to make a save like that.”
Rasmus Ristolainen and Brandon Montour each scored and Linus Ullmark had 24 saves for the Sabres. Buffalo has dropped nine of 10 (1-7-2) after winning nine of its first 12 games.
“We played a little better but it’s another loss,” Montour said. “We’ve got to start winning some hockey games.”
Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron had an assist in his return after missing two games with a lower body injury.
Marchand’s second of the game came on a power play with 5:15 left in the second period to put Boston up 2-1. Matt Grzelcyk skated into the slot and fired a wrist shot that bounced right to Marchand, who threw the puck in under Ullmark.
Pastrnak spoke glowingly of Marchand.
“He’s so smart and he’s been playing really well for us. Just an unbelievable player,” Pastrnak said. “I have a huge respect for him, the way he has become the player he is today. … He’s one of the best players in the NHL right now.”
Pastrnak’s second-chance, power-play strike made it 3-1 two minutes into the third. Rask helped seal the win with his save on Rodrigues at 4:51.
“It’s arguably the save of the year,” Rodrigues said. “You just tip your hat and move on. That was something else.”
Montour’s one-timer from the top of the left circle brought the Sabres to 3-2 with 7:02 remaining.
Buffalo led 1-0 after Ristolainen scored his first of the season on a rebound of Jack Eichel’s shot from the left circle 5:25 into the game.
The Sabres pelted Rask with 13 shots to open the game before Brandon Carlo logged the Bruins’ first shot with 7:49 left in the first.
Boston tied it on its second shot after Marchand tipped in Zdeno Chara’s shot from the blue line with 6:08 to play in the first.
“We’re lucky that we got out of there tied and not behind by five, so good thing we did have Tuuks there that first period,” Marchand said.
Buffalo finished the first with a 17-4 advantage on shots, but was outshot 20-19 after that.
“We played as good a first period as we could play and dominated in every, every area of the game, except the score,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “The guys deserved more from that.”
NOTES: Boston remained the only NHL team without a regulation home loss this season at 8-0-4. … Bruins C Par Lindholm exited after being taken down by Rasmus Asplund while fighting for a loose puck early in the first period, but returned in the second. … Boston RW Brett Ritchie sat out with a recurrence of an infection. … Boston D Torey Krug (upper body) missed his fifth straight game, but participated in an optional skate Thursday and hopes to return Saturday. … Sabres LW Johan Larsson was back in the lineup after a three-game absence with an upper-body injury. … Bruins trainer Don DelNegro worked his 2,000th NHL game in his 27th season. DelNegro was honored with a video tribute and an ovation midway through the first period.
Sabres: At Florida on Sunday night.
Bruins: Host Minnesota on Saturday night.