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
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
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
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."
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