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Bruins-Sabres: Boston's Victory Over Buffalo Keeps Their Playoff Hopes Alive

Eric ApplebyContributor IApril 9, 2010

TORONTO - DECEMBER 19:  Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins skates up ice during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 19, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 in a Northeast Division matchup last night at TD Garden. This victory gives the Bruins two crucial points to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

Buffalo got their first goal at 11:00 in the first period. Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman turned the puck over in the neutral zone to Sabres center Derek Roy who rushed up the ice, beating the Bruins defenseman to the net to get in on goalie Tuukka Rask. Roy got a wrist shot past the Bruins goalie to put the Sabres on the board 1-0.

Boston had some opportunities to put the puck in the net. They went on the power play three times in the opening period, but failed to get a goal. Buffalo went into the first intermission up 1-0.

The Bruins responded at the 02:15 mark of the second period to tie the score at 1-1. With a battle after the puck in the Buffalo zone, Bruins center David Krejci won the battle over the Sabres defense. He fed the puck to Miroslav Satan who drove to the net and put a nice move on Sabres goaltender Patrick Lalime and scored on a backhander.

Ryan Miller did not get the start in net for Buffalo.

More opportunities came along for the Bruins in the period. They went on two more man-advantage situations, only to come up short again with no goals scored. The Bruins, however, got two goals in the third period.

Their first goal came at the 01:59 mark. Vladimir Sobotka intercepted a Buffalo pass in the neutral zone. Sobotka drove to the goal but he couldn't find anyone home near the net. He dished a pass up ice up to Wideman, who was wide open, and he put a snap shot past Lalime to give the Bruins their first lead of the game at 2-1.

Wideman's goal made up for the turnover he had back in the first period that led to the Sabres first goal of the game.

The Bruins got an insurance goal later in the period. Zdeno Chara took a slapshot from the high slot in the Buffalo zone and Mark Rechi tipped the puck off his stick for the goal at 16:35.

Tuukka Rask made 31 saves on 32 shots, while Patrick Lalime made 31 saves on 34 shots.

With Philadelphia off last night and Montreal losing to Carolina, the Bruins are now in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference with 87 points. Although Ryan Miller did not start in net for the Buffalo Sabres, the Bruins will accept the two points.

Boston has two games remaining on their regular season schedule. They play Carolina at home on Saturday and then they will close out their regular season Sunday at Washington.

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