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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Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

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Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece. 

 

Bruins lose Vatrano for three months after foot surgery

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Bruins lose Vatrano for three months after foot surgery

BRIGHTON, Mass. – The first bad break of Bruins camp arrived on Saturday with the news that scoring winger Frank Vatrano will be out three months after tearing a couple of ligaments in his left foot.

The 21-year-old winger from UMass and East Longmeadow, Mass., sustained the injury training just prior to the B’s fitness testing for camp and will have surgery on Monday at Mass General Hospital with Dr. George Theodore.

Vatrano had missed the first two days of camp after participating in captain’s practice just about right until the start of main training camp, so the injury must have happened just prior to Thursday’s off-ice testing.

“He had an injury just prior to testing, and it took a couple of days to make sure he had the proper evaluation. He saw a specialist yesterday and he’s scheduled for surgery on Monday,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “One or two of the ligaments were torn when he was doing some running, so he’s out.”

The injury is a big blow for a Bruins team that clearly had plans on Vatrano filling out a top-six role and leaves the door wide open for a young players Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn or Peter Cehlarik to win an NHL job out of camp. Perhaps a veteran such as camp invite Peter Mueller could secure a job when it didn’t appear to be any room on the NHL roster just a few days ago.

Either way it’s damaging to a Bruins team that was relying on goal-scoring and explosive forward play from a guy who topped 40 goals combined in the NHL and AHL last season.

“Obviously it’s a blow. Frankie looked at as an opportunity to [win a top-6 spot]. We all did. How that was going to play out remained to be seen, but he was going to be afforded a position to see if he could grab hold of it,” said Sweeney. “So obviously, he’s disappointed, and we are as well. You look at as with all injuries…it’s a setback. But the doctors feel very good that three months from now he’ll be able to play and move forward.”

It’s not officially NHL training camp until a major injury strikes, so now the Bruins are in the middle of it after learning they’ll lose Vatrano until Christmastime. 

Here's Vatrano's "Countdown to camp" profile