Alex Auld made 44 saves in the Bruins 4-1 victory on Monday.
As seen on Versus -- The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, thanks to the outstanding goaltending of Alex Auld (44 saves) and the offense of Marc Savard (goal, assist). The important divisional win gave Boston a share of second place in the Eastern Conference playoff race and solidified their second place standing in the Northeast.
Alex Auld watches the puck go over the net under pressure from the Buffalo Sabres' Jochen Hecht (55) during the third period of Monday's game. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
"It was a lot of work," said Auld to Versus, postgame. "Buffalo's got a lot of great players and they come hard and push the tempo.
"(But) We were able to get the job done."
Speaking of jobs, it was one of those rare occasions where the blue-collar, workaday Boston Bruins had the momentum of the game in hand from the drop of the puck until the final whistle. As such, the Black & Gold got on the scoreboard quickly and potted two goals in just the first 10 minutes of the first period to put the Sabres in a very big hole.
Savard, who was 16th in the league in scoring to start the game (first in assists), scored his sixth goal of the season at 6:29. Then, on an ensuing play, passed to fellow B's forward P.J. Axelsson, who scored his fourth of the campaign at 7:13 and gave Boston a 2-0 lead.
The Sabres Joroslav Spacek put Buffalo right back into the contest, however, when he scored his seventh of the season at 16:01.
But Bruins rookie Milan Lucic stopped a Buffalo breakout and passed to Peter Schaefer who beat Buffalo's stalwart goaltender Ryan Miller to put Boston back up by two going to the break.
The second period was a defensive struggle most notable for the fine play of Boston goaltender Auld who, in just his second start for the B's, stopped 20 Buffalo shots -- for a total of 32 through two periods -- including several of the spectacular variety.
"We have to start pushing here in the third," said Savard between periods to the Versus crew. "Auldie kept us in there all period.
"We have to get going (because) we've given him too many shots (to deal with)."
Savard's teammates listened to him.
In the third period, Boston's Glen Metropolit scored to put the Bruins up 4-1 off of a Lucic rebound at 10:08 and Auld only needed to make 10 more saves to ice the contest for the visitors, who upped their record to 16-10-3.
Alex Auld (29) celebrates the win with teammates Glen Murray (27) and Aaron Ward. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
"Anytime you are making saves you feel good," said Auld, who was in the AHL until being acquired by Boston last week. "I thought my positioning was really strong...I was able to stay square and pucks just hit me.
"But we've got a pretty simple system here, and for the most part we really collapse and take care of our house in front of our net.
"And even though there were a lot of shots, I saw most of them," he said.
Boston travels to Atlanta after the game and will face the Thrashers on Wednesday.
Notes: Marco Sturm left the game after being struck with a puck and did not return...Milan Lucic, given more playing time recently, had two assists and was +2.
1 - 0 BOS
2 - 0 BOS
2 - 1 BOS
3 - 1 BOS