Bruins
Sabres
2 - 4 Final
  for this game

Sabres top Bruins for 52nd win

Apr 6, 2007 - 3:50 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres have already clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but they're not coasting to the end of the regular season.

Thomas Vanek scored two goals and had an assist as the Sabres rallied from two goals down to defeat the Boston Bruins, 4-2, in the final regular-season meeting between the Northeast Division rivals.

Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller made 20 saves and set a franchise record with his 39th win of the season. The previous record of 38 had been set by Don Edwards during the 1977-78 season.

"(The record will) mean more once the season is over and I get 16 more in the playoffs - that's really what it comes down to," Miller said.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff indicated that the team had some trouble focusing early.

"We started the game a little bit sloppy," he said. "Coming off a win where you clinched your division and conference, maybe we got a little bit full of ourselves for the first 10 minutes or so. For the last 40 minutes we were that same team where we locked it down, we kept the shots against down. We played a pretty determined game after that."

First-period goals from Andrew Ference and Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins a 2-0 edge, but the Sabres responded quickly.

Just 21 seconds after Bergeron's 22nd goal of the season, Buffalo's Ales Kotalik beat Hannu Toivonen to cut the lead in half. With less than two minutes to play in the opening session, Vanek netted his first goal of the game for the Sabres, who have a league-best 303 this season.

The game remained deadlocked at 2-2 until 4:26 of the third period, when Vanek scored his team-leading 42nd goal of this season and put the Sabres ahead for good.

"I just think we sat back after the second goal instead of kept going the same way we were in the first 10 minutes," Bergeron said. "We just stopped playing for the rest of the period. They scored two goals and they came back in the game. We can't allow that against a team that has that much firepower up front."

Derek Roy padded the lead on the power play at 15:46. Vanek and Maxim Afinogenov, playing for the first time after missing 21 games with a broken wrist, assisted on the goal.

"I thought 'Max' played well," Ruff said. "It was good to get him in, he created some good opportunities for us. He had several good opportunities himself. It was good to get him back."

The Sabres (52-21-7) finish the season 6-0-2 against the Bruins, who have lost 10 of 11 games and 13 of their last 16 meetings against the Sabres.








  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 42 (DEREK ROY) 4:26

    Bruins vs. SabresApr 5 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 0 2
    BUFFALO 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - ANDREW FERENCE 3 (PHIL KESSEL, PETR KALUS) 4:01
    BOS - (PP) PATRICE BERGERON 22 (ZDENO CHARA, MARC SAVARD)
    14:01
    BUF - ALES KOTALIK 16 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, CHRIS DRURY) 14:22
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 41 (DREW

    Apr 5 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 2
    BUFFALO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - ANDREW FERENCE 3 (PHIL KESSEL, PETR KALUS) 4:01
    BOS - (PP) PATRICE BERGERON 22 (ZDENO CHARA, MARC SAVARD)
    14:01
    BUF - ALES KOTALIK 16 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, CHRIS DRURY) 14:22
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 41 (DREW

    Apr 5 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    BUFFALO 2
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 41 (DREW STAFFORD, BRIAN CAMPBELL) 18:38

    Bruins vs. SabresApr 5 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 16 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, CHRIS DRURY) 14:22

    Bruins vs. SabresApr 5 7:37 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - (PP) PATRICE BERGERON 22 (ZDENO CHARA, MARC SAVARD)
    14:01

    Bruins vs. SabresApr 5 7:37 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - ANDREW FERENCE 3 (PHIL KESSEL, PETR KALUS) 4:01

    Bruins vs. SabresApr 5 7:15 PM