Boston Bruins 3, Buffalo Sabres 2: Final, SO
As seen on NESN --
The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, in a shootout Friday night in HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Black & Gold's Phil Kessel scored the deciding goal in the penalty shot contest while goalie Alex Auld stopped 21 shots in the regular game and everything he saw in the shootout.
"I think we did well in all the areas," said Bruins center Glen Metropolit to NESN's Rob Simpson after the game. "We got in deep, and that was our game plan.
|Boston Bruins' Glen Murray (27) battles for the puck in front of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller during the third period of the NHL hockey game at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, Feb. 8, 2008. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
"They've been playing pretty good and we stuck to our game plan for three periods and we got rewarded."
Spelling Bruins all-star goalie Tim Thomas
, Auld started the game for a Boston club that was looking to break a two game losing streak, and, in turn, avenge Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Buffalo in Boston.
Veteran Bruins forward Glen Murray returned to the lineup after missing 19 games with a hip flexor injury and his presence in the lineup was immediately felt by the Sabres as the forward found his familiar place between the faceoff circles, and in front of the Buffalo goal, and had three shots on net in just the first period.
However, the story of the first period would be the late goal for the Sabres, who capitalized on a power play opportunity when Jaroslav Spacek scored at 19:56.
Boston sought to put more shots on goal in the second stanza and this time it was Metropolit who led the way. And the center was nearly rewarded when he hit the Buffalo crossbar off a rush in the first half of the period.
However, the workaday Sabres kept steady pressure on Auld throughout the second session. As a result, a defensive miscue by Boston led to a Thomas Vanek goal at 19:22, and marked the second time in the game that Buffalo had scored in the last minute of play in a period.
|Boston Bruins' Phil Kessel (81) scores the game-winning goal on Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller during the shootout of the NHL hockey game at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, Feb. 8, 2008. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
After the second break, the Bruins came out of the locker room determined to take their best shot at a comeback and captain Zdeno Chara
led the way for his team. He took a booming shot that went through the Sabres defense, and a Bruins screen set by Murray and David Krejci
, and found its way through Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller just 57 seconds into the third period.
Later in the period, a session that saw the Bruins throw 17 shots on goal, Boston's Marco Sturm
tied the games when, off a 2-on-1 break out, he beat Miller short side at 16:10.
"You want to see a reward [for your hard work]," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "It's about scoring goals and we found a way to do that in the third."
The game went to the overtime session tied 2-2 but neither team was able to score and the contest went to a shootout where Auld (three saves) and Kessel (goal) earned Boston the win and the all-important extra point.
"It's been a while since we won in the shootout and obviously it's a great way to win," said Auld. "I was able to hold my ground."
"This was great for our confidence heading down the stretch."
|Three star selections