BOSTON (AP) — Mark Recchi tipped Dennis Seidenberg’s slap shot past Ryan Miller in overtime, a power-play goal that was initially waved off by the referee, and the Boston Bruins escaped with a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
The game continued until the next whistle, with 1:58 left, but the goal 2:11 into the period officially ended it.
After the replay was shown on the scoreboard, fans cheered and began leaving the arena even before the goal was posted.
Tim Thomas stopped 28 shots to help Boston bounce back from a shootout loss to Toronto on Saturday.
Miller made 33 saves for Buffalo, allowing a goal for the first time since Nov. 27. The shutout streak of 161 minutes, 35 seconds was the longest of his career.
Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton also scored for the Bruins. Luke Adam netted his first NHL goal for Buffalo, but he also raked his stick across Marc Savard’s face to give Boston an overtime power play — a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.
In their first visit to Boston since they were eliminated in the first round of last season’s playoffs, the Sabres took a 2-1 lead in the third period on Thomas Vanek’s goal. But Horton tied it with 6:21 left in regulation when Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber passed the puck right to him in the slot.
In overtime, Buffalo had a chance to win it when the puck went to Derek Roy right in front of the net, with no Boston players except the goalie to beat. Roy tried to stickhandle Thomas out of position, but Patrice Bergeron finally skated in to break up the play and keep the Bruins in it.
When the puck went the other way, Adam reached up and caught Savard in the face with his stick. The Bruins forward buried his face in his hands in apparent pain as the referee raised his arm for the penalty. Adam was given four penalty minutes for drawing blood, meaning the Bruins would have the power play for the last 3:14 of overtime had they not scored.
With the 4-on-3 advantage, Boston set up in the Sabres end and put together sustained, crisp passing until Seidenberg lined up a slap shot that went over Miller and ricocheted off the back of the net so fast that the referee didn’t see it go in. The fans booed, but the Bruins seemed to know that the next whistle would end it.
Miller’s shutout streak ended when Lucic sneaked the puck past him as he tried to squeeze the goal post to close the gap. The puck landed behind Miller and over the line; he quickly covered it up with his pad, but Bergeron pointed at the puck until the referee came over and ruled it a goal.
Adam tied it with 7:02 left in the second period when he got to a loose puck in the slot after a scramble and wristed it past Thomas. Vanek converted the go-ahead goal when he went behind the net for the puck and flipped it toward the net. It hit Thomas in the back on his left side and bounced in.
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