For the second time in two nights, the last-place Sabres came
away with an improbable victory, topping the Boston Bruins 5-4 in
Right winger Matt D'Agostini scored the game-winner for Buffalo 22
seconds into overtime on a partial breakaway.
"It's always tough coming back from a break like that, but to come
out with two straight wins here, and everyone knows what place we're
in and our situation," D'Agostini said. "As long as we go out there
and play hard and fight for wins, it'll be a happier feeling in here
for the rest of the year."
One night earlier, goalie Ryan Miller made 36 saves to carry Buffalo
to a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
D'Agostini caught Boston captain Zdeno Chara flat-footed on the
winning goal. He raced past Chara on a partial breakaway and beat
Bruins goalie Chad Johnson with a backhand deke.
"Once I saw the puck go out, I could tell he didn't know I'd be
coming up from behind him," D'Agostini said. "I think he just
thought he had time to go back and retrieve the puck. I kind of just
snuck up behind him. I heard their bench screaming. I tried a little
sneak attack on him in there, so it was good that I got by him and
snuck it through the pad."
"I think he was surprised," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of
Chara. "I'm not sure; you're going to have to ask him. But
definitely we should have had that puck."
D'Agostini's game-winner came after Sabres left winger Matt Moulson
tied the score at 4 with 52.3 seconds remaining in regulation.
Center Zemgus Girgensons, defenseman Tyler Myers and center Brian
Flynn also scored for the Sabres (17-34-8). Buffalo goalie Jhonas
Enroth made 29 saves.
Moulson tied the game on a terrific effort in the final minute of
regulation, with Enroth pulled for an extra attacker. After Moulson
tried to feed left winger Ville Leino in the Boston crease, the puck
deflected off Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk and came back to
Moulson, who fired the puck into the net for his 16th goal of the
"It was a game of momentum swings," D'Agostini said. "We had the
early momentum after getting that lead. And then they tied it up.
It's tough to not get that feeling of, 'It's the Boston Bruins,
they're back in the game now.' But we kept playing. We defended. We
got big saves from Jhonas, which is huge, and we ended up gutting
Center Chris Kelly, defenseman Zdeno Chara and left wingers Brad
Marchand and Milan Lucic scored for the Bruins (37-16-5), who erased
a two-goal deficit in the second period only to falter late. Johnson
had 21 saves.
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"You score four goals, you should win those kind of games, but we
were definitely rusty defensively," Julien said. "The goals that we
gave them are certainly not the way we normally give up goals. (We
had) some loose gaps, two goals from just around the slot area where
we should have had a guy closer to them, and we needed some timely
saves and we didn't get them tonight."
Lucic ended a frantic sequence of events in the Buffalo end to give
Boston a 4-3 lead midway through the third. After the Sabres turned
away several chances from defenseman Torey Krug, Chara found Lucic
open on the left point. With Enroth out of position due to Boston's
pressure, Lucic hammered a slap shot into the top corner of the net
for his 18th goal of the year.
The Sabres opened up a two-goal lead by scoring twice in a span of
2:45 in the second period, but the advantage didn't last long.
Myers put Buffalo on top 2-1 on the power play at 6:25 after burying
a rebound opportunity to the right of the Boston net. Flynn made it
3-1 at 9:10 off a wrist shot in the slot.
The Bruins quickly came back, however, and picked up momentum
following Flynn's goal. Girgensons took a hooking penalty moments
after the Sabres went up 3-1, and Boston made Buffalo pay when Chara
slammed home a loose puck in the crease at 11:01.
Marchand made it 3-3 before the period was over by beating Enroth
with a wrist shot to the blocker side. Following a turnover by
Buffalo enforcer John Scott -- who recently moved from forward to
defense -- right winger Reilly Smith found Marchand in the slot, and
Marchand buried his chance with 2:14 left in the second.
Girgensons opened the scoring 3:22 into the first period. Kelly tied
it at 1 10:47 on a terrific wrist shot high to the glove side.
NOTES: C Tyler Ennis and C Zenon Konopka were scratched for the
Sabres. Ennis played Tuesday in Buffalo's 3-2 win over the Carolina
Hurricanes but was sore Wednesday. ... The Bruins scratched G Tuukka
Rask, RW Jordan Caron and D Adam McQuaid. ... This was the fourth of
five meetings between the two teams this season. The final meeting
will take place on April 12 in Boston. The Bruins won two of the
previous three meetings. The Sabres are the only team that Boston
has never swept in a season series.
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