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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Boston



(Thursday, November 2nd)

Final Score: Buffalo 5, Boston 4 (SO)

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Ales Kotalik's goal with 1:35 left in the third period tied the game, and then his goal in the shootout proved to be the difference as the red-hot Buffalo Sabres erased a three-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Boston Bruins, 5-4.

Maxim Afinogenov scored two goals for the Sabres, who rebounded from a shootout loss to Atlanta on Saturday and have yet to lose in regulation this season (11-0-1).

"We've been able to win some games when we've been down," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "You have to stick with it. We have some firepower and can score some goals."

Goaltender Ryan Miller finished with 30 saves for Buffalo, which remained one of just two teams in the NHL without a regulation loss this season (Anaheim).

Marc Savard had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who were looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

"There's no excuse for blowing the lead," said Boston head coach Dave Lewis. "But there are a lot of good things I can take out of this game."

P.J. Axelsson added a goal and an assist, while Tim Thomas stopped 29 shots for Boston.

Boston thoroughly outplayed Buffalo for most of the game and held a 4-1 lead midway through the third period. However, the Sabres staged a furious late rally to force the game into overtime.

Buffalo's late surge began with just 8:49 to play, Afinogenov collected a rebound in the slot and fired the puck past Thomas to make it a two-goal game.

Afinogenov scored again on a similar play with 2:30 left to cut Buffalo's deficit down to one and Kotalik's goal less than a minute later tied the game at 4-4.

From the right corner, Paul Gaustad threw the puck in front of the Boston net for Kotalik and he one-timed the feed with 1:35 left to play to even the score.

Afinogenov was then taken down on a breakaway in overtime, giving the Sabres a two-minute power play. The Bruins, though, killed off the penalty and then had an excellent opportunity to win the game with a 2-on-nobody right in front of the Buffalo net. However, Phil Kessel fanned on his one-timer attempt and the game went to a shootout.

Glen Murray went first for Boston, but Miller came through with a poke save to keep the Bruins off the board.

Daniel Briere then beat Thomas top-shelf with a backhander to put Buffalo up a goal.

After both Axelsson and Afinogenov came up empty in the second round, Patrice Bergeron tied the shootout when his shot trickled through Miller's pads.

However, Kotalik came right back for the Sabres, beating Thomas top-shelf with a backhander to give Buffalo the win.

"We were playing well in those last 10 minutes (of the third period)," said Kotalik. "We worked hard and were able to tie it and win it in the shootout."

Boston dominated the opening period, outshooting the Sabres 16-5. However, Miller kept the game scoreless and the Bruins had to wait until 1:16 into the second period to grab their first lead.

With the puck in Boston's zone, Matt Lashoff banked an outlet pass off the boards to set up a 2-on-1 for the Bruins. Savard skated the puck into the Sabres' zone, faked a slap shot and then passed the puck to the slot for Axelsson, who one-timed the feed past Miller to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

Buffalo managed to even the score less than six minutes later as Jason Pominville redirected Brian Campbell's shot past Thomas.

However, Boston answered with two late power play goals in the period to assume a 3-1 lead.

With 6:34 left in the second, Dmitri Kalinin failed on a clearing attempt and Boston made the Sabres pay. Bergeron's shot from the point hit a goal post, but the rebound kicked out into the slot and Savard stuffed it home to make it 2-1.

Then, with just 44 seconds left in the period and the Bruins on an odd-man rush, Miller managed to get a pad on Savard's slap shot, but Murray was there to finish off the rebound.

Boston built a seemingly comfortable three-goal advantage 3:56 into the third period as Brad Boyes circled the puck around Buffalo's net before sending the disc in front for Mark Mowers, who picked up his first goal of the season.

Game Notes

Afinogenov now has eight goals on the season...Boston went 2-for-3 on the power play...Buffalo squandered four opportunities with the man- advantage.....Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara received several stitches over his right eye after he was involved in a scuffle with Gaustad in the third period...Buffalo will host Toronto on Saturday, while Boston will host Tampa Bay.

11/03 00:56:26 ET

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