Buffalo at Boston

Bruins get winner from Sturm in final minute of overtime


BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien said the team has a new motto: 'Be Determined -- Play To Win.'

He made a sign with the saying, and placed it atop the locker room entrance. Based on Boston's play Thursday, it appears the team is buying into it.

Marco Sturm scored in overtime and added an assist, and the Bruins held off two comebacks to earn a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

"It occurred to me during our West Coast trip earlier in the season," Julien said. "That was a message to our club to play to win no matter who you play against because we've had trouble protecting leads in the past."

Sturm beat Ryan Miller and scored with 52.3 seconds remaining after he redirected a shot from Aaron Ward, who had gently flipped the puck toward the net.

"I was standing in front of the net and got a lucky tip," Sturm said. "We have a lot of big division games coming up so this was a good start."

Said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff: "I think you feel bad anytime a bad goal goes in."

The Bruins were playing in their first game without Patrice Bergeron, who sustained a concussion and broken nose after being checked into the boards from behind by Randy Jones last Saturday against Philadelphia.

Tim Thomas made 27 saves for Boston, who beat the Sabres for the third time in its last 11 home games against Buffalo.

Buffalo's Paul Gaustad scored a power-play goal to tie the game at 3 when he tipped the puck out of the air after a pair of slick passes from Jaroslav Spacek and Ales Kotalik with 11:42 remaining in regulation. Spacek and Kotalik each had two assists for the Sabres.

Marc Savard gave the Bruins a brief 3-2 lead 59 seconds after Buffalo's Brian Campbell had tied the game. Savard pulled up on a 2-on-1 and beat Miller short side 3:08 into the third period.

Glen Metropolit, who also assisted on the game-winner, gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 2:07 of the second period. Phil Kessel increased the lead to 2-0 at 7:39 of the second when his shot from the right face-off circle squirted through the legs of Spacek and Miller.

"It didn't seem like they had an identity last year," said Metropolit, who played with St. Louis last season. "The coaching staff has been trying to instill an identity so that we are a hard team to play against."

Maxim Afinogenov eventually cut Boston's lead in half at 2-1 with 2:29 left in the second period after he tapped in a pass from Thomas Vanek. Afinogenov has 33 points in 34 career games against the Bruins.

"It seemed like it took a while until we got going," Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell said. "The winner was a fluky goal and they had some bounces on that play."

Thomas allowed more than two goals for the first time this season.

Buffalo took 14 out of a possible 16 points against Boston last season and Boston last beat Buffalo in regulation Mar. 25, 2006.


  • Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner as well as president Larry Lucchino brought the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies to center ice before the game.
  • Boston played its first of nine consecutive games against Northeast Division opponents.
  • Goalie Jordan Sigalet was recalled from Providence to replace Manny Fernandez after he suffered a knee strain in practice for Boston.
  • Sabres captain Toni Lydman temporarily left the game in the second period after taking a shot by Metropolit in the face.
Copyright 2018 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.
While Ryan Miller looks on dejected, Marco Sturm hits his stride after scoring the winning goal. (AP)
While Ryan Miller looks on dejected, Marco Sturm hits his stride after scoring the winning goal. (AP)
Buffalo (5-5-1)01203
Boston  (7-4-0) «02114
Three Stars
M. Savard

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Sturm

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
G. Metropolit

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
02:07Power Play - Glen Metropolit (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Marc Savard, Peter Schaefer
07:39Phil Kessel (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Marco Sturm
17:31Maxim Afinogenov (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad
02:09Power Play - Brian Campbell (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Ales Kotalik, Jaroslav Spacek
03:08Marc Savard (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Glen Murray, Aaron Ward
08:18Power Play - Paul Gaustad (3), Tip-In. Assist: Jaroslav Spacek, Ales Kotalik
04:07Marco Sturm (5), Tip-In. Assist: Aaron Ward, Glen Metropolit
Penalty Summary
05:53Murray, 2 min, Hooking
09:44Roy, 2 min, Hooking
13:23Kotalik, 2 min, Hooking
01:18Kotalik, 2 min, Interference
12:18Tallinder, 2 min, Hooking
14:16Paille, 2 min, Tripping
01:42Savard, 2 min, Hooking
07:05Alberts, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
Ryan Miller 63:45204
Tim Thomas 63:57273
Game Information
Attendance - 13479
Referees - Chris Rooney, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Andy McElman
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