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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bruins win the duel of great American goaltenders

It's hard to imagine a more anti-climatic way to clinch an overtime victory than the one turned in by the Boston Bruins last night.

Dennis Seidenberg's shot from the point on a power-play clearly went in the net past the Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller but popped out right away and play continued. After the next whistle, the referees reviewed it and in probably the shortest replay ever they called it a goal.

It was actually credited to Mark Recchi as the shot hit his old man pants then deflected into the upper part of the goal for a strange 3-2 win at the TD Garden.

Bruins (15-8-3) goaltender Tim Thomas (28 saves; 14-2-2) played just a smidge better than Miller (33 saves), his teammate on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.

Nathan Horton had a goal and an assist for Boston while linemate David Krejci notched two assists.

Milan Lucic got the party started with a goal at 13:21 in the first period, his team-leading 13th. He squeezed it by Miller from a tough angle with Krejci and Horton assisting.

Sabres rookie Luke Adam tied it up in the second period at 12:57, his first NHL goal from Jason Pominville and Mark Mancari.

Thomas Vanek gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead at 4:07 in the third period when he banked a shot off Thomas from behind the net. Tyler Myers and Jordan Leopold had the helpers on the tally that looked like it might make for a bitter game-winner.

Thankfully, Horton got a gift as Sabres defenseman Mike Weber who put it right on his stick in front of Miller. Horton knew what to do from there and tied it at 13:39 with his tenth goal of the season, the second game in a row with a goal after nine straight without any.

Recchi's OT strike made up for him hitting the post in the second period on a breakaway. Horton also hit the post in a frantic end to the third period. Recchi's sixth goal of the season was assisted by Seidenberg and Krejci.

The Bruins host the dreg of the Eastern Conference and the NHL as a whole tomorrow night, the New York Islanders. It's a perfect time to get two more points and hopefully get Tuukka Rask some confidence by giving him the spot start.

Boston will have to deal with another injury as defenseman Marc Stuart broke his hand last night. Marc Savard looked decent in his third game back although it's obvious that he's still trying to find his form. Meanwhile, Marco Sturm is still technically on the team but he might as well be staring in Dead Man Walking, because I'd be shocked if he gets into another game with the Bs.

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