With just two days remaining before the playoffs begin for the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres, it's time to take a look back at some of the highlights of the six games between the Bruins and Sabres in their regular-season series.
Nov. 7 at Boston
Bruins win 4-2
In what would be a rare occurrence this season, the Bruins' power play came through in this win as Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi scored power-play goals and the Bruins went 2-for-3 on the man advantage. The penalty kill, an area that would become a strong point for the Bruins over the course of the season, was brilliant, killing off all six Sabres power plays.
Tuukka Rask got the win with 28 saves, but this was just the beginning of his dominance against the Sabres this season, as he would go on to post a 4-1 record with a 1.43 goals-against average and .954 save percentage against Buffalo on the year.
Nov. 20 at Buffalo
Bruins win 2-1 (OT)
Patrice Bergeron had an amazing season and this game provided an early sign that Bergeron was on his way to proving the naysayers wrong. Bergeron won the game 47 seconds into overtime with his seventh goal of the season, capping off a game in which the Bruins held off an early onslaught to overcome a 1-0 deficit after the first period, tie it in the second and then fight hard to get to overtime.
This game also served as another indicator that Rask was ready to live up to his billing as a stud goaltender and have an impressive rookie season. Rask stopped 25 shots, including a point-blank save on Thomas Vanek early in the third period that would have regained the lead for the Sabres. In this game, Rask proved he could steal games for the Bruins, and that's a confidence the team now has in him.
Jan. 29 at Buffalo
Sabres win 2-1
The Sabres got their first win against the Bruins in this game, and Vanek had the game-winner with a power-play goal 17:32 into the second period. Goaltender Ryan Miller had 30 saves. The highlight for the Bruins in this game was the return of Marc Savard after he missed eight games with a foot injury. Savard had an immediate impact, setting up Milan Lucic for the Bruins' lone goal 10:03 into the final frame. This was also Rask's lone loss to the Sabres.
Feb. 9 at Buffalo
Bruins win 3-2 (SO)
This game was all about Rask, as the rookie netminder made a pre-Olympic break case that he should be the No. 1 goalie with a 43-save performance. Daniel Paille also had two goals against his former team and David Krejci scored the shootout winner.
March 29 at Boston
Sabres win 3-2
The highlight of this game was, unfortunately for the Bruins, a lowlight, as Tim Thomas and the defense came out flat, allowing three Buffalo goals in the first period. The Bruins were never able to recover, but Rask did come in for the final two periods, didn't allow a goal, made 19 saves and gave his team a chance to come back. Rask would start the next six games and help his team clinch a playoff berth.
April 8 at Boston
Bruins win 3-1
Dennis Wideman has played very well down the stretch, and when all is said and done, this could be the game that proved to really regain his confidence. After a first-period turnover by the blueliner who became the team scapegoat this season led to a 1-0 Buffalo lead, Wideman ended up scoring the game-winner 1:59 into the final frame and turned the boos into cheers. Rask was stellar in net again with 31 saves, and the Bruins finished off the season series against their first-round playoff opponent 4-2-0.