Live Blog: Bruins vs. Sabres

Live Blog: Bruins vs. SabresFinal, Bruins 3-2: David Krejci has given the Bruins their second straight win and their sixth point in their last four games, beating Ryan Miller in the fourth round of the shootout.

Marco Sturm and Jason Pominville both scored in the first round, but Jochen Hecht, Michael Ryder, Tim Connolly, Marc Savard and Drew Stafford couldn't light the lamp on their attempts. Krejci then won it, beating Miller on the glove side.

Both goalies were huge tonight, with Miller making 32 saves and Rask notching a career-high 43 saves for his second straight win. Rask showed loads of poise and character after allowing a soft goal to Tyler Myers late in the second period — and finally, the team in front of him is doing the same, as the Bruins fought off a strong Sabres squad in the second and third periods. The Bruins are finally coming through when it counts and seem to have the confidence to do so.

Daniel Paille was obviously huge with two goals, but the whole team deserves credit for not unraveling. Also of note would be the physical game that Milan Lucic played. When Lucic gets into it physically, it makes opponents think about him every time he's on the ice and distracts them from the other players on the ice. As a team, the Bruins also feed off physical play and it showed tonight.

The Bruins have a huge battle against the Lightning coming up on Thursday. Tampa Bay leads lead them by two points in the Eastern Conference standings and beat them in December. But this time, unlike December, the Bruins are building confidence and momentum and will head into the game tied for the final playoff slot in the East.

End of overtime, 2-2: This game is headed to a shootout, and the main reason would be the two men between the pipes, Ryan Miller and Tuukka Rask. Rask came up huge in the third period and overtime, and Miller singlehandedly kept this game going with four amazing saves in the extra frame. Now the Bruins head to the dreaded shootout for the third time in four games.

There is a delay here as the Zamboni can't get through the door and now it has to re-pave the lanes to the net.

Overtime, 3:33, 2-2: Thomas Vanek is in the sin bin for hooking down Michael Ryder and the Bruins will get a huge power play in overtime. Claude Julien has called a timeout to plan the power play. Ryder is playing a great game but hasn't found the twine; at least he drew a power play.

Overtime, 4:12, 2-2: Underway in overtime and the Bruins almost won it early, but Ryan Miller made a sprawling save on Matt Hunwick.

End of regulation, 2-2: For the third time in their last four games, the Bruins will head to overtime — but more importantly, for the fourth straight game, they will earn a point. Every point counts right now, but the Bruins really need the win here to continue to build momentum.

Third period, 42.1 seconds, 2-2: Rookie Tyler Myers was struck in the face by a Daniel Paille shot and luckily was able to get up and skate off the ice under his own power. Myers tied the game for the Sabres late in the second period.

Third period, 5:44, 2-2: That's the Milan Lucic Bruins fans know and love! Lucic just dropped the gloves with Adam Mair after Mair laid a late hit on him. Lucic hasn't fought since his bout with Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll on Jan. 21 and he has only two fighting majors this season.

I realize he's been hurt twice, but frankly, what's been missing from his game? He needs to play physical and drop the gloves once in a while. That's when his game is elevated.

The Bruins, by the way, killed off that last Buffalo power play and the Sabres are 1-for-3. Tuukka Rask has rebounded nicely this period and was huge on that penalty kill.

Third period, 8:52, 2-2: The Sabres are headed on the power play, as Dennis Wideman was called for cross-checking. If Buffalo scores here, it will just be another chapter in a nightmare season for Wideman. The Sabres are 1-for-2 so far.

Third period, 11:37, 2-2: The Buffalo fans are really getting on Zdeno Chara, booing him every time he touches the puck. Sounds like the Bell Centre!

Third period, 12:35, 2-2: The reported Kari Lehtonen trade has been confirmed. Lehtonen to Dallas for defenseman Ivan Vishenvsky (a former first-round pick) and a 2010 fourth-round pick. All eyes on will be on Marty Turco now, who has fallen out of favor in Dallas and is a UFA this summer.

Third period, 14:50, 2-2: The Sabres are really trying to goad Chara — and, actually, any Bruins player — into a penalty right now. Adam McQuaid is sticking up for his teammates, but the Bruins can't afford to give Buffalo a power play right now.

Third period, 19:34, 2-2: Underway in the third period as the Bruins try for their second straight win.

End of second period, 2-2: The only reason the Bruins are tied after two is Tuukka Rask — but both for the wrong reasons and the right reasons. Rask played sensationally again and held the fort as the Sabres came out flying in the second period.

But with the period winding down and the Bruins seemingly out of the woods for the time being, Rask allowed a wrister from way out and the Bruins and Sabres are headed to the third period tied at 2.

Rask is, by no means, to blame for the Bruins blowing a 2-0 lead. The B's depended on him too much early on in the period. For the second straight game, the Bruins came out flat in the second period, which resulted in a Buffalo 5-on-3 power play for a minute. The Sabres converted on the first half of the power play but the Bruins killed off the second half. After that, the B's seemed to gain some momentum back, but Rask, who has been Boston's backbone over its last five periods, had a mental lapse and got caught off-guard.

The Bruins need to start the next period strong and avoid putting themselves in the position where they pay dearly when Rask shows he's human.

Second period, 1:25, 2-2: Well, OK, maybe not. Tyler Myers just caught Tuukka Rask sleeping and beat him with a blistering wrister. Rask is probably wishing he could have that one back, and we have a new game here.

Second period, 2:08, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins came out a bit flat in the second period, but as time has gone on, they have withheld the Sabres onslaught of pressure and done a better job of skating and forechecking.

Second period, 8:26, Bruins 2-1: Bob McKenzie of TSN is reporting that the Thrashers have traded Kari Lehtonen to Dallas. Scratch the Stars off your teams rumored to be interested in Tim Thomas.

Second period, 9:52, Bruins 2-1: Paul Gaustad just took a bad penalty for the Sabres and the Bruins are on their first power play since Saturday's game against the Canucks.

Gaustad was trying to get Zdeno Chara to fight but Chara can't because of the splint he is wearing for his dislocated finger. 

Second period, 11:19, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins killed off the second Buffalo power play and the Sabres are 1-for-2. Tuukka Rask is once again holding down the fort in the second period, just as he did on Sunday in Montreal. The Bruins are being outshot 8-2 this period and are being out-played.

Second period, 15:25, Bruins 2-1: Derek Roy just scored a power-play goal and has cut the Bruins' lead in half. The Bruins are being out-skated so far in this period and it shows.

Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville had the helpers. That is a career high 39 assists for Connolly.

Second period, 16:14, Bruins 2-0: Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton are in the penalty box and the Sabres will have a huge 5-on-3 for over a minute.

End of first period, Bruins 2-0: Daniel Paille just had the period of his life with two goals and plenty of chances, and the Bruins had one of — if not the best — periods they've played over the last month. Boston leads 2-0 after one period for the third straight game.

The Bruins are finally playing with confidence, and it shows in their crisp passing and their forechecking.

They had one small lapse at the end of the period and were outshot 17-11, but Tuukka Rask held strong and the Bruins made their shots count on the other end. Let's see if they can continue to build off this opening frame.

In Montreal, the Bruins admitted they had a bad second period but still managed to come away with the lead. Hopefully they can maintain the compete level in this second period and won't need to depend on Rask, as they did in Montreal when they were out-shot 15-3 in the middle frame.

First period, 4:11, Bruins 2-0: The Sabres are playing a lot like the Bruins started to play around this time last season. Buffalo has roared out to a large lead in the division and has been competing for the top spot in the East throughout, but lately, the Sabres are cheating on plays and don't seem to have that jump they have had for the first four months of the season.

First period, 7:07, Bruins 2-0: Daniel Paille is really hurting his old team and making them regret trading him earlier this season. The former Sabre just scored his second goal of the game, and the "Big Z" Zdeno Chara and Derek Morris had the assists.

Paille is getting rewarded for his hard work after going eight games without a point. Despite that pointless streak, however, his work ethic never suffered and that's something. Milan Lucic, whom Paille replaced on the first line, needs to do the same. He needs to start being his hard-working, physical self again.

First period, 13:54, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins have taken an early 1-0 lead, as former Sabre Daniel Paille scored on former teammate Ryan Miller just under five minutes into the game.

Marc Savard and another former Sabre, Miroslav Satan, got the helpers. The Bruins appear to have carried some momentum over from Sunday's win.

6:57 p.m.: Almost time for faceoff in Buffalo.

Tuukka Rask is starting his fourth straight game, and as head coach Claude Julien acknowledged that the Bruins plan on riding Rask while he is hot, the rumors of the Bruins trading Tim Thomas have intensified.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported prior to Rask's 36-save performance at Montreal on Sunday that the Bruins were fielding offers for Thomas. Many, including Garrioch, pointed to Chicago as a likely destination if the Bruins were to make a trade. But as I pointed out today, that is highly unlikely.

Here's the Bruins' lineup for tonight's game:

Forwards
Daniel Paille–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

12:57 p.m.: The Bruins are in Buffalo searching for consecutive wins for the first time since a three-game winning streak from Dec. 21-27. The Bruins finally snapped a winless streak that had reached 10 games and avoided tying the 1924-25 Bruins for the longest such streak in team history with a 3-0 shutout win at Montreal on Super Bowl Sunday. The Bruins also got an amazing performance from goaltender Tuukka Rask, who made 36 saves for his third shutout of the season. Rask (11-7-4 with a 2.02 GAA and .929 save percentage) will get the nod again in net on Tuesday.

The Bruins (24-21-11, 59 points) are in a tight battle for the one of the final three Eastern Conference playoff seeds and need to put together a string of wins here. Meanwhile the Sabres, who have cruised through much of the season, have finally fallen on hard times, losing four straight. With a loss and a Senators win on Tuesday, Buffalo would fall out of first place in the Northeast Division.

Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com is reporting that David Krejci, who left Sunday's game early with a leg injury, will play and center his regular linemates, Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder.

Here's the projected Bruins lineup:

Forwards
Daniel Paille–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas 

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