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Buffalo at Boston

Sabres' Vanek dazzles Bruins with hat trick, five points

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Thomas Vanek stood in front of the Boston net, his back to the goal, as long as he could before a hit from Andrew Ference sent him flying.

Even as he fell, he got enough on the puck to set up Tyler Ennis for a goal.

"That pass to Ennis was really second to none," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Thursday night after Vanek had his second five-point game of the abbreviated season to lead Buffalo to a 7-4 victory against Boston. "It's hard to say it isn't his best stretch."

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Vanek had three goals and two assists, setting up the tiebreaking score with 13:06 left in the third period and picking up his eighth career hat trick with 91 seconds to play to help the Sabres end a four-game winless streak. It was Vanek's second career five-point game; the first came in the season opener on Jan. 20.

"Pucks are going in right now for me," he said. "There's going to be stretches where nothing goes. So you like it right now, but you know it's going to head the other way."

Ryan Miller made 38 saves for Buffalo, and Tuukka Rask stopped 25 shots for the Bruins. Brad Marchand scored two goals and Rich Peverley and David Krejci had one apiece for the Bruins, which had points in its first six games since Bobby Orr led them to a 5-0-1 mark in 1970-71.

A victory would have equaled the best start in franchise history.

"We had a great start," forward Milan Lucic said. "You're bound to lose at some point."

Vanek opened the scoring 98 seconds into the game, then had another after Boston scored three times in under six minutes in the second. Ninety-three seconds after making it a 3-2 game, Vanek made a pass to Ennis as he went sprawling to the ice.

"That's what I bring to the team," Vanek said. "Be good in front and make plays for the team."

The Bruins went up 4-3 in the third before Alexander Sulzer tied it on a wrister from the faceoff circle, and then Vanek helped give Buffalo the lead when he kept the puck in the zone, faked a shot and slid it over to Cody Hodgson for the game-winner.

And Vanek was trailing the play -- but did not get an assist -- when Jason Pominville skated in for the empty-netter with 14 seconds left to clinch it. Vanek, who entered the game tied for sixth in scoring in the league, now has 54 points in 46 career games against the Bruins.

Vanek gave the Sabres the lead after a scoreless first period, but Boston came back with three consecutive goals to open a 3-1 lead. The Sabres tied it again, thanks in part to a 5-on-3 power play when Lucic and Zdeno Chara were both sent off for penalties.

Midway through the two-man advantage, Vanek deflected a pass from Christian Ehrhoff into the net. He added an assist to make it 3-3.

Krejci gave Boston the lead early in the third, but Sulzer tied it at 4 less than a minute later and Hodgson added the go-ahead goal with 13 minutes left.

Notes

  • As part of their efforts to apologize to the fans for the lockout of the players, the Bruins gave away 134,000 concession items during home games in January, three per fan per game. That included 36,111 fountain sodas, 27,364 hot dogs and 19,472 boxes of popcorn.
  • Lane MacDermid, a fourth-round pick in 2009, made his season debut. He took the place of Chris Bourque, who was a healthy scratch.
  • Bruins forward Shawn Thornton left the game after a first-period fight with John Scott and did not return.
  • The Bruins had won 43 consecutive games with a two-goal lead.
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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Thomas Vanek (right) -- getting kudos from Jason Pominville -- also has two assists to go with his three goals in the win. (AP)
Thomas Vanek (right) -- getting kudos from Jason Pominville -- also has two assists to go with his three goals in the win. (AP)

Scoreboard
Buffalo  (3-3-1) «0347
Boston (5-1-1)0314
Three Stars
T. Vanek
BUF


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 2
B. Marchand
BOS


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Miller
BUF


Saves: 38
Save Pct.: .905

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
01:38 - Thomas Vanek (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Hodgson, Pominville
05:12 - Rich Peverley (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Paille, Kelly
07:43 - Brad Marchand (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Bergeron
10:54 - Brad Marchand (5), Tip-In. Assist: Bergeron, Seguin
16:46Power Play - Thomas Vanek (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ehrhoff, Ennis
18:19 - Tyler Ennis (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vanek, Foligno
3RD PERIOD
01:45 - David Krejci (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Horton
02:28 - Alexander Sulzer (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Grigorenko, Hecht
06:54 - Cody Hodgson (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vanek, Pominville
18:29 - Thomas Vanek (6), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hodgson, Weber
19:46 - Jason Pominville (5), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:53Scott, 5 min, Fighting
02:53Thornton, 5 min, Fighting
08:29Leopold, 2 min, Slashing
15:36Scott, 2 min, Elbowing
2ND PERIOD
05:32Peverley, 2 min, Cross Check
15:45Lucic, 2 min, Boarding
15:45Chara, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
11:25Myers, 4 min, High sticking
11:56Seidenberg, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
BUF915832
BOS14121642
 
Other Games
StL 4 Final
Colu 1
Wash 2 Final
Tor 3
Pitt 3 Final
NYR 0
NYI 5 Final
OT
NJ 4
Nash 2 Final
LA 1
Wpg 3 Final
Fla 6
Colo 6 Final
Cal 3
Edm 2 Final
SJ 3