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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Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

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Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.

*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.

*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.

*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.

*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.

*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.

*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.

 

Countdown to camp: Danton Heinen

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Countdown to camp: Danton Heinen

Click here for the gallery.

From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: Danton Heinen.

Danton Heinen exploded into a high-profile prospect for the Bruins after finishing among the NCAA’s top scoring players a couple of years ago as a freshman along with a couple of guys named Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin. 

Since then, Heinen has continued to produce offense at the University of Denver and continued to create offense that leads to points. Now, the 21-year-old Heinen will be entering the professional arena for his first full season with the Bruins and he’ll be attempting to transition from the prospect phase to a regular gig in the NHL. That’s the challenge for a talented player who appears headed into a very good opportunity in NHL training camp.

 

What happened last year

Heinen was every bit as explosive in his second season for Denver as he was in his brilliant freshman campaign. He improved on his scoring with 20 goals and 48 points in 41 games. Then Heinen signed with the Bruins at the end of his sophomore season and played in a couple of pro games in the AHL with Providence as a tune-up for this first full pro campaign with the Bruins organization. Heinen finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating in four games with the P-Bruins and showed the coaches in Providence that he was ready to play and produce with more talented players. If Heinen surprised a little bit as a breakout freshman two years ago, his sophomore follow-up in Denver last season proved to everybody that he wasn’t a fluke.

 

Questions to be answered this season

The real question surrounding Heinen is about his ceiling as an NHL player and just how good he can become as a player with the skills and playmaking abilities to be a top-six forward. He’s proven he can dominate at the collegiate level while admittedly playing with some pretty good teammates at Denver. Heinen showed at the end of the season in Providence that the pro scene might not be much different for him. At this point, Heinen simply needs to go out and prove it against the best players in the world and show that his speed, playmaking and hockey sense are all elite in the AHL or NHL. Heinen’s biggest obstacle might be his size. He'll need to survive as a targeted skill player despite not being much more than the 6-feet, 180-pound range for a forward. It’s about average for a playmaking wing in the NHL, but the hits and attention will be at a much more intense level than anything he faced in the NCAA world.

 

What they're saying

“He’s the type of player that he can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ and he’s got really good skill. I think anywhere you put him, he’s smart enough to figure it out. I think you’ll notice him during training camp. It will definitely be up to him, but I think he’ll push some guys.” –Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo on Heinen during last month’s development camp where Heinen soared as a performer.

 
Outlook

While Heinen still has some things he’ll need to prove before he’s a regular contributor for the Bruins, he comes into the Boston fold as an experienced player following two very good seasons at the college level. So, Heinen should be a little closer to plug-and-play for Claude Julien than some of the other young players that have come through the system in the past couple of years. Heinen will still need to flash in camp while being handed a big spot to perform with high-end veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand potentially off playing in the World Cup of Hockey. Heinen also has a much greater chance of winning an NHL job sooner rather than later after the Bruins lost out on the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and still have a top-six forward opening that somebody is going to fill. Heinen and Frank Vatrano are the two biggest favorites to fill that position, which became vacant when Loui Eriksson departed for Vancouver. Whichever winger loses that battle should be also be a strong candidate for a role on the third line, as well, barring any late veteran signings by the B’s. That set of circumstances leaves a very good situation for Heinen to potentially walk into with the Black and Gold, but he'll still have to show he’s fully capable of seizing his good fortune and good timing.