NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Boston
(Monday, April 26th)
Final Score: Boston 4, Buffalo 3
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - David Krejci tallied twice and Miroslav Satan notched the game-winner late in the third period, as the Boston Bruins closed out their series with the Buffalo Sabres with a 4-3 decision in Game 6 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal set from TD Garden.
"I think everybody did a good job and everybody played their 'A' game and we were battling for every little spot and every inch on the ice and we got a win," Krejci said of the competitive nature of the contest. "We knew we always had it in us and some guys had a tough year. I think we showed it (toughness) in the first round. But you know it starts right now and we've got to do the same thing in the second (round)."
Mark Recchi added a goal and one assist, while Milan Lucic posted a pair of helpers for the Bruins, who were aided in the series victory by taking all three games on home ice.
Tuukka Rask, who supplanted 2009 Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas as starter late in the regular season, earned his first career postseason series win by making 27 saves.
Boston now awaits the winner of the Canadiens-Capitals series, which will determine its upcoming conference semifinal opponent. The Bruins, as the East's top seed in 2009, had their run cut short in a Game 7 home defeat to Carolina in the Eastern semis.
Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres, who couldn't sustain the momentum of a win in Game 5 plus the return of forward Thomas Vanek, who had been out with a high ankle sprain for the previous three contests.
Vanek recorded a goal in defeat and Ryan Miller allowed four scores on 32 shots for Buffalo, which failed to net a playoff series win after missing the postseason for each of the previous two campaigns.
"Every game was a tight game the whole series. At home, on the road, whatever. It was an extremely tight series for both teams," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "They definitely had the edge (on special teams) and it made the difference in the series. Our penalty kill had been strong all year but we end up giving up five goals and it hurt us."
The Bruins failed to click during a four-minute power play early in the third period when Sabres forward Adam Mair was called for high sticking, but they took a 3-1 lead when Krejci was unguarded at the top of the crease to tip home a Lucic feed at 7:18.
Only 22 seconds later, an errant Michael Ryder pass from the boards came right to Gerbe, who rocketed a shot into the upper-right corner for a one-goal contest.
A tip-in at the left side of the net gave the Bruins a 4-2 advantage with 5:11 left in regulation, as Lucic fed from the bottom of the right circle to an open Satan for an easy score.
The 35-year-old Czech native, who starred for Buffalo from 1997-04, was signed at mid-season by Boston and helped their drive to a playoff berth with nine goals and 14 points in 38 games. His previous contribution to Boston's series triumph came when he tallied the game-winner in double overtime of Game 4 last Wednesday.
Miller went to the bench for an extra attacker with 2 1/2 minutes left, and Vanek snapped home a pass from Jason Pominville with 1:13 remaining that once again pulled the visitors within one.
However, the Bruins confidently checked away the remaining time.
Krejci redirected a Recchi feed from the slot for a power-play goal at the 13:39 mark of the first period and the Bruins took the early lead -- the first time in the series Boston had done so.
"In the series, we had some games where we were able to come back but over a long period of time you can't do that all the time," Satan admitted. "If we wanted to win this game, we better change the game this way and try to get the first goal. It would have been difficult to go back to Buffalo after this game."
Recchi added a score just over a minute into the second with the B's working a 4-on-3 power play, before Buffalo got on the board at 6:34 when Kaleta shoveled home a dish by Tim Kennedy.
Boston has won six of the eight playoff series with Buffalo, but had lost the previous two matchups in 1993 and 1999...The Sabres were last eliminated in the opening round in 2000, by the Philadelphia Flyers in five games...Buffalo had advanced to the conference finals in both 2006 and 2007...Krejci recorded his first career multi-goal playoff game...Gerbe posted his first career playoff tally...It was the Bruins' first series victory as the lower seed since topping Carolina in the first round 11 years ago.
04/26 23:30:50 ET