Bruins finish Sabres in overtime, 3-2


Bruins finish Sabres in overtime, 3-2

By Danny Picardand Joe Haggerty

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 Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
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Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

BOSTON – It certainly feels appropriate that Patrice Bergeron would author a clutch game-winning goal late in the third period of his first game back after missing a week of games with a lower body injury. That Bergeron’s game-winner also arrived in the home opener at TD Garden was an added bonus once No. 37 hammered a shot from the high slot with 1:15 to go in the third period to give the Bruins their first lead of the game in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.

The goal arrived courtesy of a nifty setup from linemate Brad Marchand working behind the New Jersey net, and also thanks to David Pastrnak winning a battle in the corner thanks to newfound grit in his game. But the hero of the day again turned out to be No. 37, who went from missing an entire week of action to reclaiming his center role on the top line, playing 16:49 of ice time and winning 13-of-24 face-offs while generating five shot attempts.

“I think it’s pretty obvious with what he did [against the Devils]. After being off for over a week and to come back and have one practice with us then back into the game, he scores a clutch goal for us. That’s what he has always been, a clutch player for us,” said Claude Julien. “I think the third period we gave it a really good push there and I like seeing that from our team that you come out and you don’t play on your heels and you push hard and we went down by a goal but we got our game going like I said and we got a couple goals to win this for us.”

Bergeron modestly said postgame that he was just trying to get into the flow of the game after missing a healthy chunk of time with injury. But he certainly looked like he was vintage form once it crunch time. The timing was perfect as he stepped into the one-timer shot off Marchand’s pass, and beat Cory Schneider amid a strong 34-save performance by the kid from Marblehead.

“I mean I was just trying to, I guess, get my feet wet right away and use the first few shifts to kind of just get, feel good about my positioning and my skating,” said Bergeron. “As the game went on I just felt better. Of course you want to start on a good note, especially at home, and we talked about our home record in the last few years. We wanted to do the job early, especially in the first game, and it’s one step but we’re happy with it.”

It was like Bergeron didn’t miss a single beat after missing the first three games of the season with a lower body injury, and those kinds of instincts and natural ability are things worth marveling about when it comes to the Bruins.

“I was feeling good [on the ice],” said Bergeron. “It would have been nice to ride the wave of the World Cup, but that being said I thought in the first I was trying to be good position ally and kind of get myself going with the first few shifts, and just kind of go from there. Overall I thought that happened.”

While the comeback win was certainly good news for the Bruins, the best news of all is that Bergeron has returned to the lineup with no signs of an injury that surprised everybody right before the start of the regular season.