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Bruins' loss gives San Jose NHL's best mark

Apr 12, 2009 - 12:25 AM
BUFFALO, New York (AP) -- Bruins coach Claude Julien didn't get too worked up when Boston squandered a shot at winning the Presidents' Trophy.

The Eastern Conference title will have to do for the Bruins, who absorbed a 6-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

"We didn't have our heads into it," said Julien, whose team came out flat in falling behind 4-0 before the game was 18 minutes old. "It would've been nice, but we're not going to cry over spilled milk."

The Bruins (52-19-10) will end their regular season at the New York Islanders on Sunday, but their loss to Buffalo allowed San Jose to clinch the Presidents' Trophy.

Better to be in the playoffs than out, such as the Sabres, who produced a gutty effort in their season finale after being eliminated on Thursday.

The frustration of missing the playoffs for a second straight year was evident in the Sabres' locker room.

Thomas Vanek was in no mood to celebrate his two-goal outing, which allowed him to reach the 40-goal plateau.

"It doesn't mean anything. Before the year, my goal was to help this team and lead them to the playoffs. And that goal failed," said Vanek, who added an assist. "The last few days, it's just been a little bit of a daze; frustrating and trying to reflect what went wrong."

Jason Pominville lamented how the team's 7-2-1 finish didn't push Buffalo over the top.

"We put a pretty good run here at the end, but not good enough," the forward said. "We dug ourselves into that kind of hole. ... We were inconsistent. It just wasn't good enough."

Mikael Tellqvist made 33 saves, and Tim Connolly and Matt Ellis had a goal and assist each for the Sabres (41-32-9). Daniel Paille and Chris Butler also scored for Buffalo.

Mark Recchi spoiled Tellqvist's bid for a shutout by deflecting in Matt Hunwick's point shot with 6:05 remaining.

Boston prepared for the postseason by resting several regulars, including captain Zdeno Chara and starting goalie Tim Thomas. Phil Kessel, who leads the team with 33 goals, also didn't play because of the flu.

The Bruins avoided a big scare in the first period when Dennis Wideman, second among Boston defenseman with 49 points, limped off after being struck in the left leg by Drew Stafford's shot. Wideman missed the final six minutes of the period before returning in the second.

Julien didn't rule out resting more players on Sunday because there is nothing at stake.

"They were extremely professional about their approach to the game," Julien said of the Sabres. "They've got my respect for the way they conducted themselves."

The Sabres took control by scoring four times on their first 16 shots to build a 4-0 lead 17:08 in when Paille pushed in a loose puck that had gotten behind Manny Fernandez. The goal came 1:25 after Vanek one-timed Pominville's cross-ice pass to convert a 2-on-1 break.

Connolly opened the scoring 3:34 in by flipping in a rebound after Fernandez stopped Vanek's shot from the left circle. Butler made it 2-0 with a rising shot from the left point.

Sabres fans weren't happy. Even as the win was apparent, fans spent most of the third period calling for the team to fire general manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff.

Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn said management would take time to "thoroughly evaluate" the entire season and added it was premature to make rash decisions.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0 1 1
    BUFFALO 4 1 1 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 18 (THOMAS VANEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 3:34
    BUF - CHRIS BUTLER 2 (CRAIG RIVET, ADAM MAIR) 11:29
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 39 (JASON POMINVILLE) 15:43
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 12 (MATT ELLIS, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 17:08
    2ND

    Apr 11 6:30 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    BUFFALO 6
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 40 (TIM CONNOLLY, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    19:44

    Bruins 1, Sabres 6  3rd - 0:16Apr 11 6:29 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    BUFFALO 5
    3RD PRD: BOS - (PP) MARK RECCHI 23 (MATT HUNWICK, MICHAEL RYDER) 13:55

    Bruins 1, Sabres 5  3rd - 6:05Apr 11 6:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0 0
    BUFFALO 4 1 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 18 (THOMAS VANEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 3:34
    BUF - CHRIS BUTLER 2 (CRAIG RIVET, ADAM MAIR) 11:29
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 39 (JASON POMINVILLE) 15:43
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 12 (MATT ELLIS, TEPPO NUMMIN

    Apr 11 5:35 PM
  • 31
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 26 roots

    Bruins 0, Sabres 5  2nd - 4:37Apr 11 5:26 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    BUFFALO 5
    2ND PRD: BUF - MATT ELLIS 7 (ANDREJ SEKERA) 1:36

    Bruins 0, Sabres 5  2nd - 18:24Apr 11 5:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0
    BUFFALO 4 4 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 18 (THOMAS VANEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 3:34
    BUF - CHRIS BUTLER 2 (CRAIG RIVET, ADAM MAIR) 11:29
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 39 (JASON POMINVILLE) 15:43
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 12 (MATT ELLIS, TEPPO NUMMIN

    Apr 11 4:45 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    BUFFALO 4
    1ST PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 12 (MATT ELLIS, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 17:08

    Bruins 0, Sabres 4  1st - 2:52Apr 11 4:42 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    BUFFALO 3
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 39 (JASON POMINVILLE) 15:43

    Bruins 0, Sabres 3  1st - 4:17Apr 11 4:37 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    BUFFALO 2
    1ST PRD: BUF - CHRIS BUTLER 2 (UNASSISTED) 11:29

    Bruins 0, Sabres 2  1st - 8:31Apr 11 4:29 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 18 (THOMAS VANEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 3:34

    Bruins 0, Sabres 1  1st - 16:26Apr 11 4:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. SabresApr 10 12:28 PM