Buffalo Beats Bruins, 4-2
Thursday, 04.05.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
The Boston Bruins dropped their last road game of the 2006-07 NHL season when they traveled to Buffalo and were cut down by the Sabres, 4-2. The Sabres' Thomas Vanek scored two goals, including the game winner at 4:26 to bring Buffalo back from a 2-0 deficit. Boston goalie Hannu Toivonen, playing in his second game of a recent recall from Providence, was strong in defeat, and made 29 saves.
"They have such a deep team up front," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis of his Buffalo based opponent. "Their six defensemen can play in any situation.
"When you break through all of that, the goalie, (Ryan) Miller, had an outstanding season.
"And the team itself looks like they are on quite a roll right now," he said.
The Bruins found their scoring touch early in their game against the beast of the East -- unfortunately, the Sabres never lost theirs, and it was a truly wild first period in upstate New York.
Boston defenseman Andrew Ference picked up a rebound and deposited it behind Miller at 4:01 and put the B's on the board first. B's assistant captain Patrice Bergeron added his 22nd of the season at 14:01 to give Boston a 2-0 lead.
But Buffalo stampeded back as the Sabres' Ales Kotalik scored his 16th of the year at 18:38 and then left winger Thomas Vanek beat Toivonen at 18:38.
However, Toivonen used his entire 6'2 frame to keep the Sabres off the board in the second period, as the Bruins #54 made saves on every shot that Buffalo threw his way. With his acrobatic style complement by some fine-tuned positional play, Toivonen became a very large target blocking the Boston goal in the second stanza.
On the other end of the ice, Miller was only tested five times in the second, but was up to the task on each of Boston's shots.
Despite his many and varied heroics in the Boston goal during the middle session, Vanek beat Toivonen for a second time in the third and his 42nd goal made the score 3-2 Sabres at 4:26.
It was a highlight reel goal.
Taking a puck from his own zone, Vanek broke in on the B's goal with a defender attempting to force him wide. Instead, the Buffalo forward faked a slap shot, slid in front of the Boston goaltender and slipped the puck five-hole and through Toivonen's goal wide split.
The Sabres added insurance, via the power play, when Derek Roy scored his 19th of the campaign at 15:46, effectively quashing any hopes of a Black & Gold comeback.
"In the third period, they wore us down a little bit and capitalized on some of their chances," concluded Lewis after the game.