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Buffalo at Boston

Bruins snap power-play drought in win over Sabres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Marco Sturm's reaction after his first goal in over a month showed what the goal-starved Boston Bruins had been going through.

Mark Recchi and Zdeno Chara scored first-period power-play goals as the Bruins halted a rough stretch with a 4-2 win over Buffalo on Saturday night, sending the Sabres to their first consecutive losses of the season.

"A lot of guys were due," said Sturm, who yelled and pumped his first more enthusiastically than usual when he scored late in the second period. "A lot of relief. As a forward you never want to go through that. Hopefully I can relax a little now."

Chara scored his first of the season, Sturm had his first since the second game of the year and Byron Bitz tallied first since early October.

"Nice to celebrate," Sturm said, still smiling. "It's been a while."

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bruins, who had scored just once in their previous three games -- that coming with 52 seconds remaining in regulation of a 2-1 shootout loss to Montreal in its last game on Thursday.

"That's what we've been telling them -- to relax," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "Eventually you're going to score goals. You know if you stick with it, it's going to turn."

Boston also snapped an 0-for-20 run on the power play.

Derek Roy and Jason Pominville had the Sabres' goals. Buffalo was 0 for 7 on the power play.

"The greater issue is our game has lacked energy the last three games," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "I think the old me might have gone irate and done something a little bit stranger. We've dealt with some sickness. We're going to back off. We're going to get the guys some rest."

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for Boston. Buffalo rookie netminder Jhonas Enroth, recalled from Portland of the AHL on Wednesday, made 33 saves in his NHL debut.

The Bruins made it 1-0 just 3:17 into the game when Recchi tipped Derek Morris' shot from the point past Enroth during their initial man-advantage opportunity.

Boston, which entered the night with the NHL's worst ranked power play, made it 2-0 on Chara's first goal of the season at 16:31.

Chara, the 2009 Norris Trophy winner, looked to the ceiling and raised both arms, possibly showing a bit of relief over his tough start. He scored a career-high 19 last season.

"There's no doubt it was probably a big sigh of relief for him and hopefully it gets him going in the right direction," Julien said.

Facing a rookie goaltender and a team playing on consecutive nights appeared like the perfect recipe for the Bruins, who made it 3-0 on Bitz's goal 1:22 into the middle period. Center Steve Begin collected defenseman Steve Montador's errant pass in the slot and fed Bitz in front.

"I wasn't that nervous," Enroth said. "I felt pretty confident before the game and I just wanted to go out there and enjoy the moment."

The Sabres cut it to 3-1 when Roy batted a bouncing puck by Rask from the slot, but Sturm one-timed a shot from the left circle that caromed into the net off the far post, making it 4-1 late in the second.

Boston had scored just four goals in its previous five games.

Former Sabre Daniel Paille, acquired from Buffalo on Oct. 20, was stopped on clean breakaway by Enroth's right-pad stop midway into the opening period. Bergeron flubbed a bid going in alone midway into the third.

NOTES

  • Rask made his first start since shutting out Edmonton 2-0 on Oct 31.
  • Buffalo had a pair of players reach milestones: C Tim Connolly played his 500th career game and D Henrik Tallinder played his 400th.
  • It was the Sabres' third game in four nights. They lost 5-2 at home against Philadelphia on Friday.
  • Buffalo pulled its goalie and had the net empty for most of the final 1:40.
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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Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron celebrate the end of Boston's three-game losing streak.  (Getty Images)
Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron celebrate the end of Boston's three-game losing streak. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Buffalo (9-4-1)0112
Boston  (7-7-2) «2204
Three Stars
Z. Chara
BOS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
S. Begin
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
S. Thornton
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:17Power Play - Mark Recchi (3), Tip-In. Assist: Morris, Chara
16:31Power Play - Zdeno Chara (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Wheeler
2ND PERIOD
01:22Byron Bitz (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Begin, Thornton
02:47Derek Roy (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Rivet, MacArthur
18:31Marco Sturm (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Bergeron, Begin
3RD PERIOD
18:12Jason Pominville (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Myers, Connolly
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:44Gaustad, 2 min, Roughing
05:24Ryder, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
10:24Paille, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
11:44Wideman, 2 min, Holding
14:29Thornton, 5 min, Fighting
14:29Montador, 5 min, Fighting
15:54Grier, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
06:20Stafford, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
11:18Sturm, 2 min, Boarding
3RD PERIOD
02:42Marchand, 2 min, High-Sticking
10:38Marchand, 2 min, Holding
14:00Thornton, 5 min, Fighting
14:00Gaustad, 5 min, Fighting
14:00Thornton, 2 min, Roughing
17:10Stuart, 5 min, Fighting
17:10Hecht, 5 min, Fighting
17:10Marchand, 10 min, Misconduct
17:10Kennedy, 10 min, Misconduct
17:11Chara, 2 min, Slashing
17:11Chara, 10 min, Misconduct
17:11Kaleta, 10 min, Misconduct
17:11Kaleta, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
 123T
Buffalo7101330
Boston1117937
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Jhonas Enroth58:18334
Tuukka Rask59:53282
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Marc Joannette, Frederick L'Ecuyer
Linesmen - Brad Kovachik, Andy McElman
 
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