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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Bruins rebound from 3-0 deficit but wind up losing to Caps in overtime

Bruins rebound from 3-0 deficit but wind up losing to Caps in overtime

WASHINGTON -- The Capitals didn't exactly end their overtime victory with a raucous celebration.

No, instead Washington held a players-only meeting, still salty over blowing a three-goal lead.

Nicklas Backstrom scored 1:36 into overtime, helping the Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 to avert a disastrous defeat Wednesday night.

Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik also had a goal to put Washington ahead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period.

After Winnik's tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller's power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3-3.

Backstrom saved the day, but not the Capitals from feeling uneasy.

"In the second and third period they outplayed," Backstrom said. "We were lucky that we came up with two points. We're not satisfied at all. We're happy with the two points, but not the way we played."

The locker room remained closed for approximately 15 minutes after the win, Washington's second in a row after losing three straight.

"We had a little talking here," said T.J. Oshie, who returned to the lineup for the first time since injuring his shoulder on Nov. 18. "There are some things we've got to clean up. I think it's more of a mentality more than it is the systems or anything like that. ... Once we get a step up on someone, we have to get that mentality that we're going to finish them off."

Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin got his first point since Nov. 26.

Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night. The Bruins outshot Washington 34-20.

"Hell of an effort. We got a big point for us. To comeback from 3-0 against Washington, it's not that easy," Pastrnak said. "Too bad we couldn't get the two points, but in this case the one point is huge for us."

Backstrom patiently waited on the right side before firing the winner past goaltender Tuukka Rask, who entered second in the league with a 1.68 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals in his previous outing, too.

Williams had two goals over the first 24 games this season, but he matched that total less than eight minutes in against the Bruins. He redirected Kuznetsov's lofted centering pass past Rask for a 1-0 lead just 23 seconds into the first period.

"To be honest it's nice to see the puck go in the net," Williams said. "I've been pressing and working hard. Hopefully this can springboard me to some more production."

Matt Niskanen left with an upper-body injury and did not return. With the Caps down a defenseman, Boston outshot Washington 11-2 in the second period.

"In the second period, we just sort of sat back," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "It's hard to protect leads in the league."

The Capitals' second goal also occurred in front of the net. Williams emerged from a scramble with a shot that slithered under Rask.

NOTES: With his 673rd career win, Trotz passed Mike Keenan (672) for eighth place on the NHL's career wins list. ... Williams' first goal was the fastest for Washington since 2012. ... Boston assigned F Noel Acciari to the Providence Bruins two days after the 24-year forward returned to practice. Acciari injured his right leg on Nov. 7. ... Holtby improved to 10-2 career against the Bruins. His first career win came in relief against Boston in November 2010. ... The three-game season series resumes Feb. 1 in Washington.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Colorado on Thursday night.

Capitals: Play at Buffalo on Friday night.