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In a game that went back and forth more than Hamlet deciding whether or not to be, the Buffalo Sabres emerged with a 7-6, shootout win. In a battle of futility between some of the (supposedly) best goaltenders in the NHL, nobody could play defense very well, or at all. Andrew Ference started the scoring just 1:29 in, followed after 37 seconds by Jason Pominville to tie the game, and Dennis Seidenberg 43 seconds after that. Brad Marchand put the Bruins up 3-1 at 5:36, and remarkably, no more scoring took place until 13:45, when Buffalo cut the lead to 3-2. Zdeno Chara put the Bruins up 4-2 30 seconds later, just 14 seconds after Marc Savard went to the box for slashing. Drew Stafford got the Sabres back within one with 41 seconds left in the period. Get all that? No? Neither did the rest of us.
Throughout all of that, Tuukka Rask opposed Ryan Miller, but Tim Thomas came out to start the 2nd instead of Rask. Not that things went any smoother, just with less scoring. Mark Recchi was called for hooking 22 seconds into the period, and Thomas allowed two goals to let Buffalo take a 5-4 lead. Thomas let in an even strength goal at 6:17, and a power play goal (which was really an own goal on Seidenberg) at 17:43.
Even with all that, Boston pulled it together throughout much of the 3rd; Tyler Seguin managed to tie the game at 3:08, and Steven Kampfer put Boston ahead 6-5 at 7:06. The Sabres were held to five shots on goal during the final regulation period, but they made it count when they did. With an empty net and extra attacker, Buffalo tied the game with just 27.8 seconds left, and the Bruins still almost won with about 10 seconds remaining. But on their second goal with less than a minute in a period on the evening, Buffalo sent the game to OT.
After an uneventful overtime, the shootout was loaded with action. Plenty of the shots were from a good distance away, but still went in. In fact, the first five shooters all scored. Only the final shooter, Zdeno Chara, failed to score; he just went wide with it. And so ends the tale of how Boston should have walked out with two points, but settles for one.
At 3-1 Boston, Adam McQuaid did scrap with Cody McCormick, though with that 1st period, a fight was surprisingly not the most exciting moment.
|1:29||BOS||Andrew Ference (2) Slap Shot – Assists: Adam McQuaid (4) & Marc Savard (4)|
|2:06||BUF||Jason Pominville (7) Backhand – Assists: Thomas Vanek (13) & Mike Weber (3)|
|2:49||BOS||Dennis Seidenberg (2) Wrist Shot – Assists: none|
|5:36||BOS||Brad Marchand (6) Tip-In – Assists: Johnny Boychuk (7) & Mark Recchi (15)|
|13:45||BUF||Thomas Vanek (14) Backhand – Assists: Tim Connolly (9) & Jason Pominville (10)|
|14:15||BOS||SHG – Zdeno Chara (5) Wrist Shot – Assists: Patrice Bergeron (16) & Mark Recchi (16)|
|19:19||BUF||Drew Stafford (11) Wrist Shot – Assists: none|
|6:17||BUF||Drew Stafford (12) Wrist Shot – Assists: Paul Gaustad (8)|
|17:43||BUF||PPG – Jason Pominville (8) Slap Shot – Assists: Andrej Sekera (11) & Jochen Hecht (10)|
|3:08||BOS||Tyler Seguin (6) Slap Shot – Assists: Daniel Paille (4)|
|7:06||BOS||Steven Kampfer (2) Tip-In – Assists: Tyler Seguin (7) & Zdeno Chara (11)|
|19:32||BUF||Drew Stafford (13) Backhand – Assists: Tim Connolly (10) & Jason Pominville (11)|
|8:30||BOS||Blake Wheeler: Delaying Game-Puck over glass – 2 min|
|10:56||BUF||Cody McCormick: Fighting (maj) – 5 min|
|10:56||BOS||Adam McQuaid: Fighting (maj) – 5 min|
|14:01||BOS||Marc Savard: Slashing – 2 min|
|0:22||BOS||Mark Recchi: Hooking – 2 min|
|4:06||BUF||Drew Stafford: Hooking – 2 min|
|17:12||BOS||Johnny Boychuk: Tripping – 2 min|
|3:42||BUF||Drew Stafford: Slashing – 2 min|
|BOS||Tim Thomas (L)||16/19||45:00|
|BUF||Ryan Miller (W)||34/40||64:01|
“It was one of those games where neither team seemed to be able to get a hold of it.” – Claude Julien on the night’s progress
Tags: Adam McQuaid, Andrew Ference, Blake Wheeler, Brad Marchand, Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Claude Julien, Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Marc Savard, Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder, Patrice Bergeron, Steven Kampfer, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara