Final: Boston 3, Buffalo 1
Recap: After a dominating performance in the opening frame, Boston surrendered an extremely untimely goal, as Jason Pominville tallied for the wildly-outplayed Sabres late to put Buffalo ahead 1-0.
In the second, the B's strong play was finally rewarded. Boston cracked starter Jhonas Enroth, as a Shawn Thornton shot was tipped into the back of the net by Greg Campbell. The two teams headed to the third tied 1-1.
With 7:04 remaining, an absolute rocket by Johnny Boychuk flew past Enroth, giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Less than two minutes later, David Krejci continued his torrid pace and pushed Boston's lead to two. Buffalo pulled Enroth but mounted squat in Boston's end, as the B's nailed down a 3-1 victory.
Records: Boston 40-23-3, 83 points; Buffalo 31-29-8, 70 points
Key Play of the Game: A blatantly awful turnover by Cody Hodgson in the second period led directly to Boston's first goal. Shawn Thornton grabbed the puck, crossed the blue line and ripped a shot. If Hodgson doesn't make that blunder, Buffalo maintains momentum heading into the third.
Connolly's Commendations: Gotta hand it to Boychuk, who had himself a very well-rounded game. In addition to his goal, Boychuk logged over 20 minutes, dished out four hits and was extremely reliable in all three zones.
Nice to see Campbell come alive. The goal was the center's first strike since January, a stretch spanning 20 games.
Bergeron was also considerably better after a few so-so showings against the Blueshirts and Leafs. The center fired four shots and win 20-of-27 draws.
Shy of a bit of a softy against Pominville -- okay, maybe not a softy, but super umtimely - Tim Thomas settled in and deserves credit for making all the necessary stops, and a few impressive ones to boot.
Connolly's Critiques: It was yet another quiet night for Brian Rolston. The forward shifted to the third line but still couldn't get much going. Not a whole lot of chemistry being built with his linemates right now for the veteran winger.
Notes: With an assist on Boychuk's goal, Caron extended his point streak to three games. Thomas allowed less than two goals for the first time in five starts.
Next: Boston will welcome the Capitals to town on Saturday afternoon.