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Mitch's Sports Report: Bruins Power Play Finally In Play; Missed Calls Mar Bills-Seahawks Thriller

Among the slew of problems the Boston Bruins have had early in this NHL season, their anemic power play has stood out as one of the worst. Heading into last night's home game against the Buffalo Sabres the Bruins had scored fewer power play goals than just two other NHL teams, which is why their 4-0 victory over the Sabres was welcomed not just for the W, but because three of the four goals scored came with the man advantage.

Brad Marchand, David Krejci (his first of the season), and David Pastrnak all connected on the power play and Tuukka Rask picked up his 32nd career shut-out, making 32 saves to move move past Tim Thomas for third place on the Bruins all-time shut-out list. It was just the second win at home for the B's this season, and a nice one after a sloppy home loss in their previous game against the NY Rangers, but a much tougher task faces the Bruins tonight as they have to take on the Canadiens in Montreal, playing the second of back to back games against a team that traditionally eats them for lunch. Montreal will be rested, and they have a healthy Carey Price back in net, so if the Bruins are keen on making a leap from mediocrity into a discussion of a playoff worthy squad, they will need to find an extra gear while still playing smart hockey against what is right now the toughest team in the league.

Monday Night Football hasn't been a boon for the NFL this season. Most of the games have been yawners, but last night's thriller between the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks was not, even if it highlighted a problem with the league's terrible officiating.

Before the awful calls, or non-calls as they were, there was the sight of Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham making not one, but two spectacular one-handed grabs in the end zone for touchdowns. Graham, who has the same physical size and gifts for catching the ball as the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, had one hand held back by defenders on both plays yet somehow managed in stride to catch and keep possession of the ball for scores.

Things started to fall apart, though, on the last play to end the first half when the Bills lined up for a long field goal attempt. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman jumped the gun on the snap for an offsides penalty also ran right into the leg of Bills kicker Dan Carpenter, who crumpled to the turf in pain. But Sherman was flagged only for offsides, not for roughing the kicker, which would have given Buffalo a much closer field goal try. Instead, Buffalo was actually flagged for a delay of game penalty, even though it was caused by one of the officials standing over the ball. That pushed the kick attempt back to a 54-yarder, which Carpenter missed, and that would come back to haunt the Bills later, needing a touchdown when trailing by six instead of three at the end of the game.

The Bills did rally downfield and had the ball on the Seattle ten yard line with with less than a minute to go, trailing 31-25, but Tyrod Taylor was sacked on third down, setting up a desperation fourth down end zone try, which went incomplete. But the officials dropped the ball again on that final play because Sherman was shown on replays knocking down Buffalo wide receiver Walter Powell in the end zone, which should have been flagged, and since a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Bills would have had another shot.

All of this led to a lot of braying and stare-downs on the Bills sideline, directed at Sherman and the referees, and while I am no fan of Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his tiresome bloviations, he actually had every right to be steamed on this occasion. But in the end it's a win for Seattle, who will be in Foxboro with a 5-2 record to take on the Patriots Sunday, while the Bills have now lost three straight to drop to 4-5 on the year.

One NBA note. Golden State Warriors phenom Stephen Curry recently had his record streak of 157 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer broken in a tough shooting night against the L.A. Lakers, but he got back into the record books last night, hitting 13 of 17 from beyond the arc in the Warriors win over the New Orleans Pelicans, setting a new NBA record for most three pointers by one player in a single game.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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