BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Felix Potvin made the most of a rare start, helping the Boston Bruins extend their winning streak.
Potvin stopped 27 shots for his 31st career shutout and Boston beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 Thursday night for its fifth consecutive victory.
Sergei Samsonov scored in the second period for the Bruins, unbeaten in seven games overall (6-0-1-0).
"We have to keep winning," Potvin said. "It seems like every team in the East is winning. You have to keep trying to climb the standings."
Samsonov scored his ninth goal with 4:33 remaining in the second period. Joe Thornton recovered a loose puck in the corner and swung around to the slot, where he fed Glen Murray.
Murray's one-timer was stopped by Buffalo goalie Mika Noronen, but Samsonov tucked in the rebound.
Thornton extended his point streak to seven games. Samsonov has a point in five of seven games since returning from a knee injury.
"We're trying to get away from scoring pretty goals," said Samsonov, who also had the game-winner in Monday's 4-3 victory over Buffalo. "We're trying to work hard and get the dirty ones. Things are going our way so far."
Potvin kept his shutout intact with 12 third-period saves. Five minutes into the third, he made consecutive saves in traffic, stopping Jason Botterill from the slot and foiling Ales Kotalik on the rebound while sprawled on the ice.
"I played the way I usually play," said Potvin, who last saw action in a tie against the New York Islanders on Jan. 3. "I want to play all the time. It's been tough this year."
The Bruins got their first shutout in Buffalo since April 4, 1993.
"There are about seven or eight teams all within eight to 10 points of each other," Sabres defenseman James Patrick said. "You can't let those points get away."
Noronen made 24 saves for Buffalo, which had its home unbeaten streak stopped at seven games.
"It may have been different if we were able to get that first goal," Buffalo center Curtis Brown said. "We had our chances, but we weren't able to capitalize on them."
Buffalo came closest to scoring in the game's first minute, when Daniel Briere hit the post.
"We didn't make enough plays to win the hockey game," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said.
Boston last had a five-game winning streak in November 2002. On Saturday night in Ottawa, the Bruins will go for a sixth straight win, something they haven't accomplished since March 2002.
"We want to ride this as long as we can," coach Mike Sullivan said. "This is an important stretch in our schedule. Teams are scratching and clawing to get every point they can."