Bruins finish Sabres in overtime, 3-2

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Bruins finish Sabres in overtime, 3-2

By Danny Picardand Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- It had to be reviewed, and play went on for nearly a minute after Mark Recchi tipped home a Dennis Seidenberg shot for the game-winning goal in overtime on Tuesday night at the TD Garden, but eventually the officials got it right and the Bruins skated away with a 3-2 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Seidenberg's blast, which glanced off Recchi's shoulder and beat Ryan Miller, initially appeared to hit the crossbar, except in the Bruins eyes. Players pointed to the refs as if it went in, but Boston's four-minute power play continued until Miller finally tied a puck up.

The replays showed the puck hit the inside bar just under the crossbar, and Tim Thomas and the Bruins were given the goal and the win.The Bruins took a 1-0 lead with 6:39 left in the first period on a Milan Lucic wrap-around wrister from the lower right circle. He skated all the way around the net with the puck and his low shot somehow snuck barely past the goal line as Miller was tucked up tight to the post.

Buffalo tied the game at 1-1 at 13:57 of the second period on a goal that was just as sketchy, as Luke Adam beat Thomas during a scrum in the slot. Adam took a loose puck and slipped a low wrister past Thomas, a shot the Bruins goaltender didnt even see.

Thomas Vanek gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead four minutes into the third period after he caught Thomas off-guard with a shot from the corner, which hit Thomas in the left shoulder and re-directed into the net.

But the Bruins tied it with 6:21 left when Nathan Horton intercepted an attempted breakout pass by Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber and, from the slot, quickly snapped one past Miller. "We didnt really come out flying in the third," said Seidenberg. "We kind of came out flat. We got scored on right away and thank God Horton put that giveaway in. From then on, I think we got our game back and put pressure back on net. That's a good way to start a three-game homestand and we got it going."GOLD STAR: Dennis Seidenberg was the perfect epitome of the Bruins' overall game on Tuesday night. He wasn't good at the beginning portions of the first period and had some rough moments at the beginning of the third when he was taken off the PP unit temporarily but he had some good moments in between that. Five shots on net to lead the team with Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara, three blocked shots, and 28 minutes of ice time while working through a Buffalo forecheck that punished the B's all night. BLACK EYE: The aim of Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler. When the two forwards are going badly their aim toward the net can go way out of whack, and that's what happened Tuesday night. Wheeler finished with zero shots on net because he missed a couple of golden scoring chances in the second period, and Ryder missed wide and high on some great feeds from Tyler Seguin and Mark Savard. If the B's lost this game, the missed shots would have been the loudest lament.TURNING POINT: A strong shift by Brad MarchandGregory CampbellShawn Thornton turned into the game-changing play when Thornton jumped off in favor of Nathan Horton. Campbell pressured Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber with a heavy forecheck, and Weber blindly tossed the puck into the slot right to Horton. Horton buried the hockey equivalent of a lay-up, and tied the game with less than seven minutes to play. The B's were flying all over the ice from that point on.BY THE NUMBERS: 11-6-2 the record of the Bruins this season when they allow 30 or more shots in a game. That disproves the notion that the high number of shots on goal allowed is by itself killing the Bruins.QUOTE TO NOTE: "I knew it went in because you could hear the clunk, so it wasn't the ping, you know, the big crossbar sound. It was underneath." Mark Recchi, who said he knew the goal was good simply by the sound it made. The 42-year-old chased the refs briefly before play continued, and a stoppage eventually brought the replay that gave Recchi the game-winner.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
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Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' third line has been reborn under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, and the players are now openly admitting they desperately needed a change.

Claude Julien never trusted Frank Vatrano, Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes enough defensively to play them together, but this line has blossomed under Cassidy: Six goals, 15 points and a plus-11 in seven games. They’ve survived in the defensive zone by rarely playing there. Instead, they push the pace, make plays to keep the puck out of the D-zone and, most importantly, keep producing the secondary offense that wasn’t there in the first 55 games of the season. 

No one has been freed from the shackles more than Spooner, who is back playing his natural center position after being forced to play left wing under Julien. The 25-year-old said Tuesday that getting a clean slate with a new coach has been extremely beneficial to him, and that perhaps he didn't always love playing for the guy now minding the bench in Montreal. 

“I felt like the last coach ... he just didn’t really trust me,” said Spooner, who has two goals and six points along with a plus-1 rating in seven games post-Julien. “It might've been kind of on me not really playing to the potential that I have, but at the same time . . . I just don’t think that he really liked me as a player. It’s kind of in the past now. It’s just a part of the game. It’s up to me to just go out there and just play, and not have that stuff in the back of my mind. 

“I just kind of have to go out there and believe in myself and I think at times I wasn’t really going out there and doing that. Maybe that’s something to learn. This sport has ups and downs, and I’ve had my downs. You learn that you can just sort of push through it. If you do that then things can be good.”

Spooner has 10 goals and 33 points along with a minus-3 this season, and could potentially surpass last year's numbers (13-36-49) in his second full season. 

Most felt that the speedy, skilled Spooner would be one of the big beneficiaries of the move from Julien to Cassidy, and now he’s showing that with a new lease on life in Boston. 

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while it’s all happening around the NHL world ahead of tomorrow’s NHL trade deadline.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eric Engels says that a torturous February shows that nothing will come easy for the Montreal Canadiens.

*Some raw locker room video from the Florida Panthers with local D-man Keith Yandle holding court with reporters.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has some early thoughts, and some praise, for the Washington Capitals landing puck-moving D-man and big ticket rental player Kevin Shattenkirk.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs up their playoff cred by landing gritty, big third-line center Brian Boyle ahead of the trade deadline.

*Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are the city of Chicago’s longest-tenured teammates having spent the last 12 years together with the Blackhawks.

*Patrice Bergeron and Toucher and Rich are getting together for their 10th annual Cuts for a Cause, which will be on March 27.

https://www.nhl.com/bruins/community/cuts-for-a-cause

*For something completely different: Jimmy Kimmel gives his perspective of the debacle that went down at the end of the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/watch-jimmy-kimmel-on-oscars-best-picture-award-mistake-w469552