The Bear Cave

February 10, 2010 1:18 AM

Rask Stops 43 in Shootout Win at Buffalo

In the last four years, the Boston Bruins participated in a grand total of 46 shootouts, with 13 being the most in one season. The 2009-10 team has already eclipsed that mark, and is getting dangerously close to the league record of 19. On Tuesday night, the Bruins played in their 16th shootout. Unlike the previous four, this time, Boston came out on top, as David Krejci's goal in the fourth round gave the Bruins a 3-2 road victory over the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Earlier this season, the Bruins and Sabres became trading partners for the first time ever, as Buffalo shipped Daniel Paille to Boston. Tuesday was the forward's second trip to his former home city, and he celebrated in grand fashion, mucking around the net for the first goal of the contest. Miroslav Satan chipped the puck down the boards for Paille, who tried setting up Marc Savard behind the cage. Savard couldn't get a clean handle of the puck, but managed to return the feed to Paille. Thanks to a moving screen by the referee, Paille lost his defender, allowing him to get a wraparound off, sneaking the shot through Ryan Miller.

Shortly after the midway mark of the opening stanza, Boston struck again, and for the second time, it was the former Sabre doing the damage. Miroslav Satan and Daniel Paille exchanged passes on the left side of the offensive zone, with Paille ultimately curling around the net and tossing a pass back to Derek Morris at the right point. Morris dished a pass across the blueline to Zdeno Chara, who fired a slap shot in toward the net. Paille set himself up in the slot, tipping Chara's blast home for his ninth goal as a Bruin.

The Sabres outshot the Bruins 17-11 in the first period, but Boston had the better of the opportunities, including Daniel Paille's two goals.

In the early stages of the second period, the dislike began to set in for the two divisional rivals. With a delayed penalty upcoming to Boston, Shawn Thornton and Craig Rivet elected to drop the gloves. Thornton had the clear upper hand on Rivet, taking the Buffalo captain down with relative ease.

The penalty on the play was a hooking minor to Milan Lucic, putting the Sabres on their first power play of the night. Less than a minute later, Steve Begin was flagged for holding, making it a two-man advantage for the home team. With time ticking away on Lucic's penalty, Jason Pominville quickly regrouped in center ice, sending a cross-ice pass over to Tim Connolly. Connolly crossed the blueline, before handing off for Derek Roy in the high slot. After receiving the pass, Roy repositioned the puck on his stick, ripping a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the goal.

Despite the goal by Roy, Boston was successful in killing off the remainder of Begin's penalty, keeping the 2-1 lead.

Midway through the period, another disagreement took place, as Zdeno Chara and Paul Gaustad had a less than pleasant exchange. Gaustad threw both of his gloves down to the ice, challenging the Bruins' captain. However, due to a splint on his finger, Chara wasn't able to engage in a fight. Chara's refusal made him the biggest enemy of the Buffalo crowd.

With less than two minutes left to play in the middle frame, the Sabres got the equalizer. The Bruins came inches away from scoring a goal of their own, before Buffalo started transition the other way. Paul Gaustad lobbed the puck ahead from deep in his own zone, trying to connect with a teammate. Adam McQuaid knocked the puck down, but put it onto the stick of Tyler Myers. Myers glided into the offensive zone, used Andrew Ference as a screen, and surprised Tuukka Rask with a low wrist shot on his glove side.

Suddenly, things were looking all too familiar for Boston, who saw a 2-0 lead evaporate into a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes of play.

In comparison to the first two periods, the third period was relatively slow. However, with 5:44 remaining, another fight took place. Adam Mair threw a late hit on Milan Lucic, drawing a response from the Bruins' forward. Mair landed the first couple of punches in the fight, but Lucic answered, drawing blood with his first shot. After getting cut, Mair ducked out of the way, preventing any further punches.

The scariest opportunity of the third period came late, when Dennis Wideman turned the puck over to Jason Pominville. Pominville wrapped the puck around the back of the cage, but Rask was ready, making his 41st save of regulation.

In overtime, the Bruins had a couple of great chances to end the game. The first came on a 2-on-1 break, as Marco Sturm tapped a pass over to Matt Hunwick. Hunwick had most of the net to shoot at, until a lunging save by Miller kept the game alive. A hooking penalty to Thomas Vanek gave Boston a second opportunity, but the visitors failed to score, ultimately sending the game into a shootout.

Both teams got off on the right foot in the shootout, as Jason Pominville scored through Tuukka Rask's legs, while Marco Sturm found a hole underneath Ryan Miller's arm. Rounds two and three were scoreless, as Jochen Hecht, Michael Ryder, Tim Connolly, and Marc Savard all came up empty. Drew Stafford took Buffalo's shot in the first round, and tried to go through Rask's legs, but the Boston netminder turned the shot away. That gave David Krejci the chance to be the hero for the Bruins. Krejci took the puck in on his forehand, beating Miller glove side for the winning goal.

Both goaltenders were phenomenal in the game, as the two combined to allow just four goals on 79 shots. Tuukka Rask earned his second straight win for Boston, making 43 saves on 45 shots during the game, before a 3-for-4 effort in the shootout. Ryan Miller suffered the shootout loss, allowing two goals on four attempts, after a 32-save performance during the game.

The Boston Bruins have now won two straight games, and will be looking to make it three in a row on Thursday night, when they visit the Florida Panthers. The Providence Bruins are off until Friday, when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS Paille (8) (Savard, Satan) 4:51
1. BOS Paille (9) (Chara, Morris) 11:58
2. BUF Roy (13) (Connolly, Pominville) (PP) 4:35
2. BUF Myers (8) (Gaustad) 18:35

BOS Marco Sturm- G
BOS Michael Ryder- S
BOS Marc Savard- S
BOS David Krejci- G

BUF Jason Pominville- G
BUF Jochen Hecht- S
BUF Tim Connolly- S
BUF Drew Stafford- S

Penalty Summary:
2. BOS Lucic- Hooking 2:54
2. BOS Thornton- Fighting 2:54
2. BUF Rivet- Fighting 2:54
2. BOS Begin- Holding 3:46
2. BUF Gaustad- Unsportsmanlike Conduct 9:52
3. BOS Wideman- Cross Checking 11:08
3. BOS Lucic- Fighting 14:16
3. BUF Mair- Fighting 14:16
4. BUF Vanek- Hooking 1:27

BOS Tuukka Rask (12-7-4): 45 shots, 43 saves
BUF Ryan Miller (29-14-6): 34 shots, 32 saves

Shots on Goal:

BOS 11-11-8-4-1=35
BUF 17-14-12-2-0=43

Power Plays:
BOS 0-for-2
BUF 1-for-3

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Daniel Paille
2- BUF Paul Gaustad
3- BUF Tyler Myers

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