Sabres top Bruins to open home-and-home
Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Drew Stafford scored the go-ahead goal on a wrap-around in the third period and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Thursday night, winning consecutive games for the first time in more than a month.
Brian Flynn, Marcus Foligno and Tyler Myers also scored for Buffalo in the first game of a home-and-home series between the teams. Ryan Miller had 34 saves for the win.
The Sabres had lost 10 of their last 13 coming in, but beat the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. They hadn't won back-to-back games since Nov. 12-15 and Foligno said he hopes it brings the team some much-needed momentum.
"This is a huge win for us and a step in the right direction," said Foligno.
Brad Marchand had both Boston goals and Chad Johnson allowed four goals on 23 shots. The Bruins have lost two of three since a four-game winning streak.
"I think he was close to his old self tonight and that was nice to see," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He competed hard in all areas and he skated better than I've seen him skate in a long time. He got rewarded with a couple goals and even could've had a few more with a little bit of luck. I liked his game tonight."
Stafford gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead 14:19 into the third period with a nice individual effort, scoring his wrap-around goal in between the post and Johnson's planted stick after carrying the puck down the right side.
Myers scored just 80 seconds later on a wrister for the two-goal edge and the Sabres survived an extended push by the Bruins after they pulled Johnson with more than two minutes left.
The teams will play again in Boston on Saturday night.
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead on two quick goals from Marchand early in the second period.
Marchand tied the game with a shorthanded goal 1:50 into the period, beating Miller's glove on the near side with a sharp wrister. His second goal, just 74 seconds later, wasn't as sharp: Patrice Bergeron slipped him a pass in the slot and Marchand's one-timer knuckled past Miller into the top of the net.
The Sabres tied it with 2:49 left in the second period after Jamie McBain's shot from the right side was deflected into Foligno's chest next to the net, fell to the ice and was jammed in by Foligno.
Earlier, the Sabres couldn't score on a 4-on-3 advantage in the first period. Instead, they took a 1-0 lead on Flynn's shorthanded goal after Mike Weber went off on a double minor following a near-fracas with Milan Lucic.
Flynn, chased by Bruins winger Reilly Smith, skated down the left side and beat Johnson with a backhand shot he flipped into the top corner on the far side with 3:33 left in the period.
Flynn and Foligno both had an assist ... The Sabres announced during the game that they acquired forward Linus Omark from the Edmonton Oilers for a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2014. Omark played in 66 NHL games for the Oilers, but just 15 since the 2010-11 season. He was leading the team's AHL affiliate at Oklahoma City in goals and assists.
12/20 01:51:17 ET