NHL Game Summary - Boston at Buffalo
(Friday, February 8th)
Final Score: Boston 3, Buffalo 2 (SO)
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel notched the game-winner in the shootout as Boston overcame a two-goal deficit to top Buffalo, 3-2, at HSBC Arena.
With Boston's second chance, Kessel appeared to want to shift from the forehand to the backhand as he skated in on Ryan Miller. While Miller looked for the poke check, Kessel lost control of the puck and it slid through Miller's pads.
After Ales Kotalik and Henrik Tallinder failed, Derek Roy could have prolonged the contest, but Alex Auld did the splits to get his right pad against the post to stop the shot and wrap up the game.
"Nothing is really a surprise in the shootout anymore," Auld noted. "You see a lot of guys you wouldn't expect to be taking them and being really good at them. The biggest thing with the goalie is you want to be patient and not make the first move. I was able to hold my ground and stay with all the dekes. We got the one goal and that was enough."
Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm scored in regulation for the Bruins, who put a two-game losing streak to rest. Auld made 21 saves to earn his ninth win of the season and sixth with Boston.
Jaroslav Spacek and Thomas Vanek hit the net for the Sabres, who lost for the second time in their last seven. Miller was denied his 100th career victory, allowing two goals on 37 shots in defeat.
The Sabres got on the board with 3.4 seconds left in the first period. While on the power play, Spacek blasted a one-timer in the right circle off a Brian Campbell feed which overwhelmed an unscreened Auld and hit the net just under the crossbar.
Another late goal, this time with 38 seconds left in the second period by Vanek put Buffalo ahead by two, but the Bruins cut that deficit to one a little less than a minute into the third when Chara's floater from the left point found the net.
The Bruins continued to harass the home team, taking a 15-0 shot advantage before Sturm's goal with 3:50 left in regulation knotted the game, 2-2. Marc Savard dished up the left side to the speedy winger, and Sturm held off a defender while stashing a shot on the short side.
"We had a couple turnovers and (Chara) scored right away," Spacek said. "We were kind of tight. Give them credit, they played well in the whole third period, even overtime."
Boston has won four of the six meetings this season, and avenged a 4-2 loss to Buffalo in Beantown on Tuesday...Sabres forward Drew Stafford left the game with a left leg injury early in the third period and did not return...Boston enjoyed a 17-1 shot advantage in the third and a 19-4 edge in the final 25 minutes of play...Bruins forward Glen Murray returned to the lineup after missing 19 games with a hip injury.
02/08 23:19:39 ET