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NHL Game Summary - Boston at Buffalo



(Thursday, January 15th)

Final Score: Boston 1, Buffalo 0

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Felix Potvin made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season to lead the Boston Bruins to a 1-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Potvin turned aside seven shots in the first period, eight in the second and 12 in the final frame for Boston, which has won five straight and is unbeaten in its last seven games (6-0-1).

"I thought he was really solid when we needed a timely save," said Boston head coach Mike Sullivan of Potvin's play. "He was there to make it for us. That is essential for teams to win in this league."

Sergei Samsonov scored the lone goal for the Bruins, who won in Buffalo for the sixth time in their last eight tries.

Mika Noronen turned in a solid effort between the pipes, stopping all but one of the 24 shots he faced, for the Sabres, who had their seven-game home unbeaten streak stopped. Despite the setback, Buffalo is 4-3-2 in its last nine overall.

"It's a big loss for us. I don't think we played well enough to win," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "Our guys needed to make plays and we didn't."

A scoreless first period saw just one penalty, a hooking minor to Buffalo's J.P. Dumont, as well as a 12-7 shot advantage for Boston.

"We had a good first period and we started to control territory," added Sullivan.

With just under 12 minutes to go in the middle stanza, Dumont had a good chance with a slap shot from the left circle, but Potvin came way out of his crease to challenge and made the save.

Later in the period, the Bruins nearly tallied twice. First, Glenn Murray made a nice deke move and let go a wrister from the right circle. Noronen got a piece of the shot, but the puck trickled behind him and hit the post before the Buffalo netminder covered up.

Minutes later, on a 2-on-1, Boston's Carl Corazzini had a partially open net to shoot at from near the left post, but could not find the back of the cage.

Boston, though, finally got on the board at the 15:27 mark. Joe Thornton skated behind the net and fed a cross-ice pass to Murray, who took a shot from the bottom of the right circle. After the save by Noronen, the rebound sat in the crease before Samsonov eventually poked in his ninth goal for a 1-0 Bruins lead.

Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Sabres forward Ales Kotalik wasted a golden opportunity to tie the contest. With Potvin sliding from left to right, Kotalik hit the outside of the net with a wrist shot from the right side.

After the puck went back to the point, a shot on net was saved, but the rebound came out to the goal mouth. Kotalik had open space up high, but his backhander did not have enough steam on it and eventually Potvin gained control.

Then, with five-plus minutes to play in regulation, Daniel Briere blasted a one-timer from the slot, but Potvin moved over to get his glove on it.

In the final minute, Noronen was pulled in favor of the extra skater. Buffalo, which struggled to get the puck in the zone, produced only one good scoring chance. Curtis Brown was left alone on the left wing, but his shot went directly into the pads of Potvin.

Boston shut the door the rest of the way and held on for the victory.

Sullivan was pleased with the Boston defense toward the end of the game.

"We did a good job defending down the stretch."

Game Notes

Boston is now 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings between the clubs...This was the first Bruins' shutout in Buffalo since April 4, 1993, when Andy Moog blanked the Sabres 2-0...The shutout was the 31st of Potvin's career...The Bruins, who have not allowed a power-play goal in their last six games, held Buffalo scoreless on two power-play chances...Boston did not score on its only opportunity with the extra skater.

01/15 23:18:45 ET


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