Final, Bruins win 3-2: Don Cherry and the 1978-79 Bruins: That one was for you!
You'd best have some sympathy for the devil as Miroslav Satan scores the game-winner on the power play with 12:19 left in the second overtime. The Bruins have their first multiple-overtime win in the playoffs since 1939 and, more importantly, a 3-1 lead in this series with a chance to end it in Buffalo on Friday night.
Michael Ryder gotts the primary assist on the Satan goal (his 17th career playoff tally) and Tuukka Rask — who was sensational again with 35 saves — gets the other assist.
Off to the dressing room for postgame reaction, so be sure to check NESN.com later as the Bruins now head to Buffalo with a chance to move on to the second round of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. They have also maybe quieted the at least one ghost of past playoff failures by winning the game on a power play generated by too-many-men-on-the-ice.
Second overtime, 14:10, 2-2: Somewhere Don Cherry is smiling right now: The Sabres were just whistled for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty and the Bruins have their first power play of overtime. They're 1-for-5 so far tonight.
Second overtime, 14:51, 2-2: And just like that, the pace picks up. This is playoff hockey, folks. Enjoy it!
Second overtime, 16:35, 2-2: Milan Lucic almost ended it a few minutes ago but missed the net. It's a bit slower of a pace so far compared to the first overtime.
Second overtime, 18:57, 2-2: We're under way in the second overtime. The last time Boston won a multiple-overtime game at home was in 1939. Time to change that.
End of first overtime, 2-2: The Bruins and Sabres couldn't settle this one in the first overtime and we're headed for another here at TD Garden still deadlocked at two.
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 10-8 in the first OT and had their chances. If they lose this game, they will look back at Blake Wheeler's shorthanded breakaway, Patrice Bergeron's chance with 12:09 to go and then Miroslav Satan getting absolutely robbed by Ryan Miller with just under four minutes to go.
Wheeler is playing a great game tonight and has had some chances, but he needs to stop getting cute as he did in the waning seconds of the first overtime. That goes for plenty of Bruins right now. Just shoot, shoot and shoot again! Marco Sturm, where are you?
Overtime, 3:43, 2-2: Miroslav Satan was just robbed by Ryan Miller and we remain tied at two. Satan had an empty net to shoot at, but Miller came sprawling across for a ridiculous, game-saving glove save.
Overtime, 6:17, 2-2: We have our first whistle since the Patrice Bergeron tripping call and it's time to breathe … or, in this case, write.
On that penalty kill, the Bruins were masterful and Blake Wheeler was stopped on a shorthanded breakaway by Ryan Miller. The Bruins really seem to thrive on killing a penalty. But now they need to have a power play.
Overtime, 9:00, 2-2: Nonstop action here in overtime as both goalies have been huge so far.
Overtime, 15:43, 2-2: The Sabres get the first power play of overtime on a Patrice Bergeron tripping call. The Sabres were 0-for-1 in regulation.
Overtime, 19:35, 2-2: We're under way in overtime. This will either end real quick or we'll be here all night.
End of regulation, 2-2: For the first time since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with Carolina last spring, the TD Garden faithful will see playoff overtime. The Bruins erased a 2-0 third period deficit on goals by David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron and this game will be decided in sudden death. With a win, the Bruins would take a 3-1 series lead.
Of course the Bruins are hoping this game doesn't end up like that Game 7 loss to the Hurricanes and if they play the way they did in that final period of regulation, it won't. Again this team is showing so much in the way of guts and determination and along with the save of the season from Tuukka Rask, they are headed to overtime with a chance to take a stranglehold on this series.
Rask and Ryan Miller have been amazing tonight as they both faced 25 shots. Amazingly, the shots have been the same for every period, 8-8-9 for each team, and both netminders have been superb. Get ready for one of the best things in pro sports, Stanley Cup playoff overtime. The question now is when will we go home. Could be a late one, folks!
Third period, 2:48, 2-2: The game has settled down a bit here as both teams try for that go-ahead goal. You have to give it to the Bruins for the resilience they have shown again in coming back. They looked all but done after two periods with Ryan Miller in control.
Third period, 7:13, 2-2: Nonstop action here as we finally have the first whistle since Patrice Bergeron's game-tying goal. Moments after that, Tuukka Rask made maybe the save of the season on Mike Grier, diving across the crease to bat away Grier's wrister and preserve the tie.
Third period, 13:20, 2-2: The TD Garden has exploded as the Bruins have netted two quick goals. Patrice Bergeron just tied the game with his second goal in as many games and we have a new game here.
Daniel Paille and Johnny Boychuk got the helpers. Buffalo just used its timeout and this building has broken out into a "M-I-L-L-E-R" chant.
Third period, 17:53, Sabres 2-1: The Bruins power play has finally connected here — David Krejci must be reading this blog in the dressing room. Krejci just scooped up the garbage on a rebound of a Matt Hunwick shot, beat Miller and the Bruins trail by one. Mark Recchi had the other helper and the Bruins are also headed onto another power play. They're 1-for-4 so far.
End of second period, Sabres 2-0: Despite a better period and more energy, the Bruins trail 2-0 headed to the final frame. This series is on the verge of heading back to Buffalo tied at two.
The Bruins had their chances in that period, but they can't solve what apparently is a rejuvenated Ryan Miller between the pipes for Buffalo. It's not that Miller played poorly in the first three games, but Tuukka Rask outplayed him and stole the attention. Now it's Miller who is looking like that Olympic hero that led Team USA to silver.
But if the Bruins could get contributions from the likes of David Krejci and Marco Sturm, the latter of whom has just one goal in his last 19 games, maybe the offense would get going. Sturm, Krejci and linemate Miroslav Satan have been the one group that has not had a good series for the Bruins. They need to step it up.
Second period, 3:31, Sabres 2-0: The Sabres killed off another Bruins power play and the missed opportunities for the Bruins are adding up.
Second period, 5:44, Sabres 2-0: Ryan Miller just made two more huge saves, but the Bruins will get another chance on the power play. They're 0-for-2 tonight.
Second period, 6:50, Sabres 2-0: Ryan Miller just committed grand larceny on Mark Recchi as Recchi had a great chance off the rebound of a Milan Lucic shot in front. But Miller would have none of it and it remains 2-0.
For those who were doubting Miller, he's answering the bell tonight.
Second period, 9:22, Sabres 2-0: I was going to point this out earlier before the Sabres' second goal. With talk of a Marc Savard return, there has been plenty of chatter
about who may sit if and when Savard returns to the lineup?
likely candidates — like Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille — are making strong cases tonight that they should remain in the lineup. They're not only
being physical and performing normal fourth-line duties, but they're also creating offensive chances.
Second period, 13:01, Sabres 2-0: The Bruins are in a 2-0 hole for the first time since the first period of Game 2 as former Bruin Steve Montador beats Tuukka Rask through a screen. Tim Connolly had the lone assist. Let's see if that goal gets changed to Paul Gaustad. It might even have deflected off a Bruin's stick.
The Bruins had been playing a lot better until allowing that goal, but now they have a steeper hill to climb. It's going to be interesting to see if they can pull off another comeback against this stingy Sabres squad.
Second period, 14:34, Sabres 1-0: Milan Lucic and Craig Rivet just did the tango and the TD Garden is revved up again.
Second period, 15:39, Sabres 1-0: The second period is under way and the Bruins seem to have more of a jump in their game right now. They're getting some early chances on Ryan Miller as they try to knot the score at one.
End of first period, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins killed off that Milan Lucic penalty and the first period has ended with the Bruins trailing 1-0 on the Tim Kennedy goal 2:12 into regulation.
The Bruins came out flat in that opening frame but gained some steam as the period went on. But they're showing some cracks in the armor right now as the defense has had numerous breakdowns, specifically when coming back to the Bruins zone chasing down a puck. Not sure if it's fatigue or the end of shifts, but one of these times, a Sabre is going to outskate a Bruins defenseman and break in alone on Tuukka Rask.
The power play for both teams was quiet again as the Sabres went 0-for-1 and the Bruins went 0-for-2. In a tight game like this, it could make a huge difference if either team finds a way to get it going on the power play.
Of note, at the end of the period, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara went over to Sabres pest Patrick Kaleta to rough him up a bit for what he apparently thought was a shot after the siren sounded. The referees came over to break it up, and in the process Kaleta lost his balance and fell to the ice much to the delight of the Bruins fans.
First period, 3:09, Sabres 1-0: Milan Lucic just got called for boarding and the Bruins power play is negated.
First period, 4:45, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins failed to convert on their last power play but they will get another chance here as Blake Wheeler drew a holding call on Craig Rivet as the two raced for the puck in the Buffalo zone. Great hustle by Wheeler to draw the call.
First period, 7:27, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins are headed onto their first power play of the game as Tim Kennedy is off to the sin bin for cross-checking.
Prior to the penalty, Raffi Torres had a point-blank chance that Tuukka Rask gloved for the save, prompting "Tuukka!" chants from the TD Garden crowd.
First period, 9:18, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins seem a bit out of sync and can't find their stride yet. They need to start skating and while Buffalo deserves credit for a strong start, the Bruins appear not to be playing as hard as they did in the first three games.
First period, 13:19, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins are now honoring the 2010 NCAA hockey champions, the Boston College Eagles, who won the Frozen Four in Detroit earlier this month.
On the ice, the Bruins need to start honoring the work ethic that got them this 2-1 series lead and wake up. They have come out flat and the Sabres are buzzing around with purpose.
First period, 17:48, Sabres 1-0: For the fourth straight game, the Sabres have taken a 1-0 lead. This time, it's Tim Kennedy who gives Buffalo the early lead as he took a feed in the slot and rifled it past Tuukka Rask. Tyler Ennis and Cody McCormick got the helpers. Not the start the Bruins wanted, but the one they're used to so far.
7:07 p.m.: The TD Garden is rocking again tonight as the Bruins come out to "Cochise" by Audioslave. It worked the other night so why not give it another shot? Time for Rene Rancourt.
6:50 p.m.: The TD Garden is filling in here for Game 4 as we get closer to faceoff. Here's what the lineups should look like tonight for the Bruins and Sabres:
Bruins Defensemen Goaltenders Sabres
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron—Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid
Paul Gaustad–Tim Connolly–Mike Grier
Tyler Ennis–Adam Mair–Cody McCormick
Raffi Torres–Tim Kennedy–Patrick Kaleta
Henrik Tallinder–Tyler Myers
Andrej Sekera–Craig Rivet
Toni Lydman–Steve Montador
Referees tonight are Kevin Pollock and Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen are Steve Barton and Greg Devorski.
6:35 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres have taken the ice for their pregame warmups and there is no Thomas Vanek on the ice for Buffalo. That would mean the Sabres sniper will miss his second straight game despite skating this morning for the first time since injuring his ankle in Game 2.
Nothing new to report from Bruins side and no there is no miracle Marc Savard sighting. We will have the lines for you in a bit.
4:50 p.m.: The atmosphere outside TD Garden is starting to build and there continues to be a growing sentiment that Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is hoping Cody McCormick sends a message tonight and gets the quiet Sabres going in terms of physicality.
Sitting here at DJ's at the Garden with the general manager Robert and wonderful bartender Jamie for a pre-game appetizer and the place is abuzz that we could see some Slapshot hockey tonight.
Justin Kinas of Moncton, New Brunswick, (via Vancouver, home of Milan Lucic) and Sandenn Killoran of Bathhurst, NB, have been here since Sunday to support their favorite team, the Bruins, and their favorite players. Kinas' fave is Lucic and Killoran's is Patrice Bergeron. Killoran got to know Bergeron very well when he played for Bathhurst Titan and spoke volumes of the Bruins alternate captain, calling him "nothing but class."
Both B's fans though are hoping that one Shawn Thornton sends McCormick back to the AHL with a black and blue memento.
Both Kinas and Killoran have had the pleasure to watch top prospect for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft prospect Brandon Gormley and say the defenseman would be the "perfect" Bruin.
2 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres both held optional skates this morning in preparation for tonight's Game 4 at TD Garden. The big news coming out of the Bruins skate was that a Marc Savard return to game action in this series is "unrealistic" according to head coach Claude Julien. And on the Sabres side, forward Thomas Vanek skated for the first time since injuring his ankle in Game 2 and is a game-time decision.
Also, Matt Ellis, who got "Boychuked" in game 3 is out with a broken nose and forward Cody McCormick, called up from Portland in the AHL, will be in the lineup. McCormick is one tough customer, leading the Portland Pirates with 168 penalty minutes in 66 games this season. The gritty London, Ontario native was actually involved a on-ice brawl with current Bruins forward Brad Marchand and the Providence Bruins on October 18 as McCormick jumped off the bench and jumped Marchand to spark a free-for-all at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Is Ruff looking to light a fire under his squad tonight and match the Bruins dominant physical edge thus far?
We shall see, but the stage is set for Game 4 and it could be an old school type game with Shawn Thornton and McCormick in the lineup.
9:28 a.m.: The Bruins will have the chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead before a raucous TD Garden crowd Wednesday night in Game 4 of this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Buffalo Sabres.
The Bruins seem to be doing almost everything right these days (some more goals would be nice though) and are playing within their element.
The Big Bad Bruins style of hockey that returned for most of the 2008-09 season but disappeared until the playoff run this season, is in full effect and the Bruins are thriving off physical, old school hockey with brilliant goaltending from a calm and collected “Tuukool” Tuukka Rask. That calmness and even keel approach has spread throughout the dressing room and on the ice and the Bruins are simply saying and doing all the right things.
Now the key is to maintain that and not get cocky or sit back as they did so much this past season.
The Bruins got some great news yesterday that star center Marc Savard passed his neuro-psych and exertion tests and is cleared to join the team. Now the question is: When and how can he help the Bruins?
At Tuesday's B's practice, the lines remained the same as they were for Game 3, and barring any injuries, will remain that way until further notice or a Savard return to the lineup.
The Sabres could have some changes as Thomas Vanek remains doubtful and Matt Ellis missed practice with a broken nose suffered from the hit by Johnny Boychuk he took in the second period of Game 3. The Sabres called up forward Cody McCormick from Portland of the AHL. McCormick led the Pirates with 168 penalty minutes in 66 games. Could head coach Lindy Ruff be looking to spark his team physically and send a message?
Stay with us here at our NESN.com Live Bruins Quest For The Cup Blog as we will keep you updated on any developments for both teams from Causeway Street at the TD Garden and then be sure to watch all the Bruins-Sabres Game 4 coverage on NESN starting at 6:30 p.m.