Final - OT
  for this game

Sabres rally from late three-goal deficit in win over Bruins

Nov 3, 2006 - 3:15 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Just when it appeared the Buffalo Sabres might actually lose a game in regulation, they pulled out some of their early-season magic.

Daniel Briere and Ales Kotalik scored in the shootout to cap a furious late rally as the Sabres defeated the Boston Bruins, 5-4.

Buffalo improved to a league-best 11-0-1 and still is the only team in the Eastern Conference without a regulation loss.

Briere and Kotalik both beat Boston goaltender Tim Thomas on backhanders in the shootout while Patrice Bergeron scored the Bruins' only goal when he deked Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller.

"I was watching Thomas on the first two (shots), and I saw he was going down," Kotalik said. "So I decided to go with a backhand move. I knew that I had to put it up and if I executed it well, he didn't have much chance to catch it."

The Sabres trailed, 4-1, with less than nine minutes remaining in the third before rallying to tie the game in wild fashion.

After Maxim Afinogenov scored goals at 11:17 and 17:30, Kotalik tied the game when he cruised through the slot, took Chris Drury's pass from the corner and poked the puck past Thomas at 18:25.

"It was great work by Paul (Gaustad) and Chris behind the net, and I was just trying to find an opening," Kotalik said. "It was almost last minute and I was hoping the puck was going to come. It finally came and I ripped it on net. It found a hole between the pads."

"The fourth goal, (Drury) just made a perfect pass in the slot," said Thomas, who finished with 29 saves. "It wasn't from lack of effort. It wasn't that we were sitting back and giving them the game, like it has been in the past."

The Bruins took a 3-1 lead with 44 seconds left in the second period on Glen Murray's goal and took what appeared to be a comfortable 4-1 advantage when Mark Mowers scored his first goal of the season at 3:56 of the third period.

"I really felt if we could get one early in the third, we could get back in it," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "They stretched it to 4-1, but after that first goal, we got a little bit of momentum. Two goals in today's game is not insurmountable. You can overcome it."

It was the second excruciating loss in a week for Boston. On October 26, the Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens were tied before Andrei Markov scored with just two seconds left in the third period for the 3-2 victory.

"There's no excuse for blowing that lead," said Boston coach Dave Lewis, whose club has lost three of its last four. "But there were a lot of positives that I take out of that game. There were a lot of very good things happening on the ice for us tonight. We just didn't complete the game, that's all."

Marc Savard had a goal and two assists and P.J. Axelsson scored the other goal for the Bruins, who went 2-for-3 on the power play.

Jason Pominville scored the other goal for Buffalo, which went 0-for-4 with the extra skater but had the firepower when it needed it most.

"We've been able to win some games when we've been down," said Ruff, whose club has beaten the Bruins in nine of the last 10 meetings. "You have to be able to stick with it. We have some guys who can score goals."

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