Boston at Buffalo

Stafford scores in regulation, shootout to help Sabres down Bruins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With each acrobatic save Ryan Miller made, coach Lindy Ruff sensed the Buffalo Sabres would have enough time to find a spark.

It took a while -- the game went all the way to a shootout -- before the Sabres were finally able to erase a two-goal deficit and reward their star goaltender with a 3-2 victory against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

"He's made the big saves when we needed them, and those big saves give the team confidence, they give you momentum," Ruff said. "He's been right there for us."

Miller stopped 30 shots through 65 minutes and then allowed one goal through five shootout rounds, clinching the victory when Marc Savard saw the puck roll off his stick while attempting to make a move in front of the net.

Thomas Vanek scored the decisive shootout goal with a nifty move. Driving to the net, he faked a shot and let the puck float at his skates for a second, before beating Manny Fernandez on the glove side. Drew Stafford also scored in the shootout and forced overtime by capping a great individual effort with a goal when 14 minutes remained in regulation.

Clarke MacArthur also scored for Buffalo, which is off to a 5-0-1 start.

But the credit went to Miller, who kept the Sabres in the game while they were being outshot 14-2 early in the first period, and 24-12 when Phil Kessel scored to give the Bruins a 2-0 edge eight minutes into the second period.

"Ryan was unbelievable," Vanek said.

"Tremendous," Jason Pominville added. "The saves he made tonight were terrific."

For the Bruins (2-1-3), this type of loss is becoming all too familiar. Boston was coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Pittsburgh on Monday in which Penguins backup Dany Sabourin stopped 35 shots.

"You almost feel like Groundhog Day here," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We came up short again in the shootout. But we are that close, and if we can get over that hump it will make a big difference."

Boston's Dennis Wideman scored 11 minutes in when he threaded a shot through a crowd in front. Miller also had no chance when Kessel beat him with a low shot from the right circle that sneaked barely inside the left post.

But Miller kept the Bruins from blowing the game open.

With 27 seconds left in overtime, Miller reached back with his stick to stop Marco Sturm's attempt to get around the goalie on the short side. Midway through the third period, Miller made a big glove save, snapping his arm up in time to rob David Krejci's attempt to convert a rebound from the right circle.

Early in the second period, Miller made his most acrobatic save by stopping Kessel's shot from the right circle and then diving back across the crease and getting his stick down to block Savard's chance from in close. A minute later, Miller kicked out his right pad to foil Blake Wheeler's shot from the slot.

"It is frustrating, but at the same time, we've got to keep staying with it," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. "It's the same song as last night. We had chances, we just need to finish."

Miller improved to 4-0, a stretch in which he has allowed six goals. Just doing his job.

"Yeah, happy to help," Miller said. "I thought the team did a nice job of settling down and playing."

Notes

  • Vanek, who entered the game with an NHL-leading seven goals, saw a five-game goal streak snapped.
  • The two teams split their series last year at 2-2-2. Buffalo held an edge in goals 18-17.
  • The Sabres' streak of not allowing a power-play goal ended at 26, tying Dallas in 2001 for fourth-longest to start a season since 1989, according to STATS.
  • Ruff improved his career record to 402-302-121, tying Punch Imlach for 22nd on the NHL coaching victories list.
  • Krejci scored Boston's lone goal in the shootout.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Ryan Miller robs David Krejci in the third period to help keep Buffalo unbeaten in regulation.  (US Presswire)
Ryan Miller robs David Krejci in the third period to help keep Buffalo unbeaten in regulation. (US Presswire)

Scoreboard
Boston (2-1-3)11000 (2)2
Buffalo  (5-0-1) «01101 (3)3
Three Stars
R. Miller
BUF


Saves: 30
Save Pct.: .938
D. Roy
BUF


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
T. Vanek
BUF


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:57Dennis Wideman (1), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
11:48Power Play - Phil Kessel (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Lucic, Bergeron
13:33Power Play - Clarke Macarthur (3), Tip-In. Assist: Rivet, Afinogenov
3RD PERIOD
05:48Drew Stafford (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Roy, Spacek
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
 Drew Stafford (3), GOAL
 David Krejci (2), GOAL
 David Krejci (2), GOAL
 Thomas Vanek (2), GOAL
 Thomas Vanek (2), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:58Numminen, 2 min, Hooking
13:10Peters, 2 min, Slashing
13:44Sturm, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
10:07Stafford, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
12:01Stuart, 2 min, Interference
14:54Savard, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
08:49Mair, 2 min, Hooking
13:57Afinogenov, 2 min, High-Sticking
16:32Yelle, 2 min, Tripping
OT
04:32Numminen, 2 min, Hooking
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Boston1610531
Buffalo612927
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Manny Fernandez 64:4428252
Ryan Miller 64:4430251
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Boston1-for-2
Buffalo1-for-2
Game Information
Attendance - 18334
Referees - Chris Ciamaga, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen - Brad Kovachik, Steve Miller
 
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