NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Boston
(Thursday, November 1st)
Final Score: Boston 4, Buffalo 3 (OT)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Marco Sturm scored with less than a minute remaining in overtime to propel the Boston Bruins past the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, at TD Banknorth Garden.
On the deciding play, Boston's Glen Metropolit spun away from a Buffalo defenseman along the far boards and sent a cross-ice pass to Aaron Ward. Ward one-timed the puck on goal and Sturm deflected it past Ryan Miller for the game-winner, 4:07 into the extra session.
"It's a tough play," said Sabres center Paul Gaustad. "The game-winner was a little bit of a fluky goal."
Metropolit and Marc Savard each recorded a goal and an assist, while Ward collected a pair of assists for Boston, which has won two of three. Sturm added an assist and Tim Thomas stopped 27-of-30 shots, the first time he has allowed more than two goals in a game this season.
"I think we are getting an identity," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "We're not giving much, as far as scoring chances. Our goaltender is coming up big."
Gaustad chipped in a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who snapped a two-game winning streak. Jaroslav Spacek and Ales Kotalik had two assists, while Miller made 20 saves in the loss.
After a scoreless opening period, Boston struck early in the second with a power-play goal from Metropolit. Savard had possession of the puck along the far wall and faked a pass to Zdeno Chara at the right point, opening a lane to Metropolit stationed in the slot.
Savard zipped the pass across and Metropolit blasted the rolling puck high over the glove of Miller to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the 2:07 mark.
A little over five minutes later, Phil Kessel put the Bruins up two with his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Kessel used Spacek as a screen, wristing a shot that trickled through Miller's legs.
Maxim Afinogenov's late second-period tally cut the Bruins lead in half. Boston center David Krejci attempted to clear it up the boards, but Gaustad picked it off along the near wall.
Gaustad then dished the puck down low to Thomas Vanek, who threaded a pass across the goal crease to Afinogenov. Afinogenov then deposited the puck in the back of the net with 2:29 remaining.
Brian Campbell erased the Sabres' two-goal deficit with a power-play goal at the 2:09 mark of the third period. His blast from the point deflected off Metropolit and eluded Thomas for a 2-2 tie.
Savard recaptured the lead for Boston 59 seconds later with a wrist shot on the short-side that beat Miller above the glove.
Buffalo tied the score again, 3-3, on the power-play. Tremendous puck movement resulted in Gaustad notching his fourth goal of the season when he one-timed a backhand pass from Spacek, the final score before overtime.
Tim Thomas entered the game with the NHL's top save percentage at .957...The game started a stretch for the Bruins that will see them play nine consecutive games against Northeast Division opponents...Two of the last three meetings have been decided in overtime or a shootout...Buffalo's last regulation loss in Boston was on March 25, 2006...Boston improved to 6-2-0 when scoring first...Before Thursday's game, Buffalo agreed to terms with free-agent defenseman Nolan Pratt on a one-year contract...Before the game, Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner as well as president Larry Lucchino brought the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies to center ice for the ceremonial puck drop.
11/02 00:04:43 ET