NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Boston
(Thursday, October 20th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Boston 3
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - J.P. Dumont and Ales Kotalik scored in the third period to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in a Northeast Division battle at TD Banknorth Garden.
Tim Connolly and Daniel Briere also scored for Buffalo, which has won three of its last four games. Ryan Miller stopped 30 shots in the victory.
Sergei Samsonov, P.J. Axelsson and Glen Murray notched goals for the Bruins, who have now dropped three straight after a three-game winning streak. Hannu Toivonen allowed four goals on 37 shots in the losing effort.
The Sabres moved ahead 3-2 at the 2:08 mark of the third period courtesy of a nice individual effort by Dumont. Just over a minute into the frame, Boston's Nick Boynton was whistled for interference and the Sabres skated with the man advantage. A wrist shot from the point by Connolly was nicely redirected home by Dumont, who fought for position near the top of the crease.
With under eight minutes remaining in regulation, the Sabres again found the back of the net for a two-goal advantage. Dmitri Kalinin lifted a high lob that seemed to be a dump in, but Kotalik got past the Boston rearguards and snuck in a backhander from in close at 13:48.
However, just 25 ticks later, the Bruins climbed back to within one. A shot from the blue line by Boynton somehow found its way through traffic before Murray barely got his stick on the disc on its way past Miller. The play was reviewed to see if Murray's stick was up high, but the goal was allowed.
But it was not enough, as the Sabres thwarted several late chances to hold on for the win.
The game's first goal came with the Sabres on the power play. Skating with a two-man advantage for over a minute, they controlled the puck down low. Just seconds after Patrice Bergeron came out of the penalty box to make it a 5- on-4, Briere and Dumont worked a nice give-and-go. Briere was stationed in the top of the right circle and passed down low to Dumont, who quickly gave it back to Briere for a one-timer with 5:05 to go in the opening frame.
The Bruins tied it up less than two minutes later with a power-play marker. Kevin Dallman fired a wrist shot that was saved and he was denied again as he followed up on the rebound. However, that rebound fluttered out to Samsonov, who punched it home from the goal mouth.
In the second period, the Bruins needed only 42 seconds to grab a 2-1 lead.
Tom Fitzgerald hustled down the left-wing side and left a nice drop pass for Hal Gill, who found a streaking Axelsson in the low slot. Axelsson faked a wrister before tucking the disc through the five hole for a 2-1 Boston edge.
After several good scoring chances throughout the middle session, Buffalo was able to knot the contest on a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play. Kotalik held control along the high left half-wall before rifling a cross-ice pass to Maxim Afinogenov on the perimeter of the right circle. Afinogenov immediately passed back to the left post, where Connolly put the puck past Miller with 6:41 remaining.
After scoring in the opening minute of the second, Axelsson nearly tallied again in the closing seconds on a breakaway, but Miller's right pad was quicker and the teams went into the second intermission deadlocked at two apiece.
Boston captain Joe Thornton returned the lineup after a three-game absence due to back problems. He assisted on Samsonov's goal...Despite the victory, Buffalo is only 2-6-1 in its last nine games at Boston...The Sabres last four games have all been one-goal decisions...The Sabres finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while the Bruins were 1-for-5 with the extra skater.
10/20 22:02:44 ET