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Needing a win to help its playoff chances, the Boston Bruins hosted the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night. The Sabres gave the B’s a gift before the game even started, as they sat their All-Star and Olympian goalie Ryan Miller. Miller is 40-18-8 on the season so it’s a good thing that he wasn’t playing. Instead, Boston got to see Patrick Lalime in between the pipes for Buffalo who was starting only his 12th game of the year.
After falling behind in the first period, the Bruins used a goal in the second and then two more in the third to get the 3-1 victory over the Sabres Thursday night.
It was a crucial game for the Bruins who are battling it out with the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers for the last playoff spot. Of those four teams, one will not make it. Before Thursday’s game, the Bruins held the eighth and final spot with the Rangers on the outside looking in, but only one point behind Boston. Now, the Bruins are two points ahead of the Rangers and are in a tie with the Flyers at 87 points.
The win brought the Bruins to 37-30-13 on the season while the Sabres fell to 44-26-10.
Without Dennis Seidenberg for the rest of the season due to surgery on his wrist and Andrew Ference still out due to a groin injury, the Bruins were more shorthanded as ever, but that didn’t stop them from making that final push to make it into the playoffs.
Tuukka Rask started in goal for the Bruins and had another stellar night between the pipes. He saved 31-of-32 shots on goal for his 21st win of the season.
Lalime had a decent game for Buffalo, as he stopped 31-of-34 shots on goal. The loss dropped him to 4-7-2 on the year.
The Bruins will next take on the Carolina Hurricanes at home Saturday night.