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NHL Game Summary - Boston at Buffalo



(Wednesday, January 17th)

Final Score: Buffalo 6, Boston 3

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Brian Campbell scored the go-ahead marker in the third period, and Ryan Miller made 25 saves as the Buffalo Sabres doubled up the Boston Bruins, 6-3, on the back end of a home-and-home series at HSBC Arena.

Daniel Paille had a pair of goals, while Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy, and Maxim Afinogenov also tallied for the Sabres, who brought an end to a three-game skid despite the absence of a key player. Forward Jochen Hecht, who was injured during Monday night's game in Beantown, will miss the final three games before the All-Star break with an undisclosed lower body injury.

"We had a pretty good discussion yesterday morning about ice time, about earning ice time," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "If you're not going to battle, you won't get the ice time. I'm not going to hand out free ice time. Guys are going to battle and compete, you'll build up your ice time. You're not just going to get handed it shift after shift."

Phil Kessel had his first two-goal game of the season, and Glen Murray also tallied for the Bruins, who have dropped four of their last five games. Tim Thomas surrendered five goals on 31 shots.

Trailing 3-2, Boston pulled even just 56 ticks into the final stanza, as Kessel lit the lamp for the second time on the night. The Bruins rookie center, who came into the game with just five goals on the season, one-timed Marc Savard's cross-ice pass top shelf to make it a 3-3 game.

Buffalo quickly rallied to regain the lead thanks to the smart play of Daniel Briere. The team captain gained extra time inside the Boston line, eluded three Bruin skaters, then dished to Campbell, who was wide open on the left point. Campbell finished the play by ripping a one-timer toward the net that hit a Bruins defenseman and slipped past Thomas to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead with 9:55 to play.

The Sabres then looked to ice the game with 5:16 remaining, as Afinogenov skated the length of the ice, beat Boston defenseman Andrew Alberts to a loose puck, then raced into the offensive zone, besting Thomas with a backhand shot to make it a 5-3 contest.

Paille added an empty net goal with 42 ticks remaining, knocking home the rebound shot after Chris Drury's attempt deflected off the post.

"Our forecheck was a lot better," said Campbell, comparing this game to the front half of the home-and-home. "We didn't turn over many pucks. Our power play was better, special teams was good. Positive signs coming out of it, but this team has a long way to go."

Dmitri Kalinin gave Boston a gift, in the form of the game's first tally. The Buffalo center went to pass the puck just inside his own zone, but his stick never made contact with the disc. Kessel corralled the loose puck, skated in alone, and wristed a shot that trickled through the five hole of Miller to give the Bruins a 1-0 edge at 10:16.

Buffalo quickly evened the game using terrific puck movement on the power play. After a couple quick passes, Campbell unleashed a blazing slapshot that just missed on the short side, and Briere was there to collect the rebound and send it into the crease from behind the net. Vanek then tapped the bouncing puck to send it over the goal line for his 24th marker of the season at 12:29.

Less than two minutes later, Ales Kotalik accepted a pass from Jaroslav Spacek and fired from a long wrister from the slot that snuck just inside the left post to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead, although the goal was later credited to Paille.

A little more than four minutes after that, Murray got behind the Sabres penalty kill and?scored on the power play to once again knot things up. The right winger received a feed from Zdeno Chara and unleashed a hard wrist shot that beat Miller top shelf to the right.

The Sabres finally capped the first period flurry in the final seconds, as Roy redirected Afinogenov's shot from top of the right face-off circle past Thomas to give Buffalo a 3-2 edge heading into the break. The Sabres held that advantage despite being outshot 15-8 in the opening session.

"We know we can beat these guys," said Savard after the game. "They're a good team obviously but we didn't play the way we did (on Monday). They're a great team. They have great forwards and three lines that can score against any line in the league."

Game Notes

The division rivals play another home-and-home series in two weeks, with Buffalo playing the host on January 30th, followed by a February 1st meeting in Boston...The Sabres have won three of four games against Boston this season and 10 of the last 12 overall matchups...The three-game slide was Buffalo's longest drought at home since dropping four straight at HSBC Arena from Oct. 26-Nov. 9, 2005...Briere has a seven-game point streak, tallying one goal and seven assists in that span...Roy has three goals and nine assists in his last 12 games...Savard, who had two assists on the night, now has five goals and six assists in his last six contests.

01/18 00:38:09 ET

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