Bruins down Sabres in OT 3-2 in "weird game"

A deflection by Mark Recchi in overtime gave the Bruins a 3-2 win in overtime over the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead 13:21 into the game when his wrap-around wrister snuck between the pads of Ryan Miller and barely crossed the goal line.

Just moments after the goal, Johnny Boychcuk dropped the gloves with former teammate Steve Montador. Johnny Boychuk had laid a hit on Jason Pominville earlier and Montador was presumably sticking up for Pomminville, who had recently returned from a concussion. Montador strayed from his usual go-to-move of standing there and receiving repeated punches to the face and opted to bear hug Boychuk and hang on for dear life. Montador earned an extra two minutes for roughing for jumping Boychuk.

Buffalo tied the game up at 1-1 with 7:03 in the second period on a goal from Luke Adam. A rebound in the slot found its way to the stick of Luke Adam. Adam's shot along the ice and through a crowd in front of Tim Thomas' crease ended up in the back of the net for his first NHL goal. Adam was relieved to get the monkey off his back by scoring first NHL goal, remarking "it was nice to get one. I have been kind of holding the stick tight a little bit here, the last couple games. I had some big chances and not being able to capitalize on them so it was nice to get one".

Buffalo took the lead at 2-1 4:07 into the third period on a flukey goal by Thomas Vanek. Vanek went behind the goal line to retrieve the puck and banked a the puck off Tim Thomas's back and in.Tim Thomas tried to breakdown the whacky goal after the game, saying "I was on my way back after the original shot and you know I was going to the post to seal it up as quick as possible, but he took a pretty hard slap shot and that’s hockey".

Nathan Horton took advantage of a gift-wrapped turnover by Mike Weber. Weber had the puck in the corner in his own zone and inexplicably tried  to make a pass out in front of the Buffalo goal. Horton picked off the pass and deposited the puck into the net for his 10th goal of the season with 6:21 left in the game. Horton's equalizer would force overtime. Horton said after the game that he took advantage of being the right place at the right time, noting "I don’t know what happened, maybe he didn’t see me. It was a nice pass. I was just in the right spot I guess".

In overtime, Marc Savard drew a double minor high-sticking call on Luke Adam to give the Bruins a power play 1:46 into the extra session, which led to the game-winner by Mark Recchi. Seidenberg's slapper from the high slot deflected off the body of Mark Recchi in front and into the net before bouncing out. The goal was waved off on the ice while play continued for almost a full minute. At the next whistle, the play was reviewed and quickly determined to be the game-winner.

Dennis Seidenberg was fairy certain that the puck went in, saying "I thought it went in. [Mark Recchi] had a perfect screen in front of the net and it went, actually, off his pants, so it worked out well."

There was also no doubt in Mark Recchi's mind that his deflection went in, saying "I knew it went in because you could hear the clunk, so it was the ping, you know, the big crossbar sound, it was underneath".

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller agreed that the sound was a key indicator to him that is was a goal, admitting "The sound, sounded like it went it.  It hit Paul [Gaustad], it hit Goose, on the initial shot and it hit [Mark] Recchi as he kind of crossed me and then it went in".

While Miller agreed that it the puck went in the net, he thought that Mark Recchi interfered with him to score the goal and the fact that it appears to hit the crossbar may have had an impact on the referee's non-call:

"I thought the ref was just letting the play continue, I thought he could have given me a little benefit of the doubt, Recchi being in the crease, and you know, obstructing my angle.  I had to change my lane, and I was still in the crease so I thought that was definitely the way the ref reacted, he thought crossbar, so there was no need to call or make any judgment on Recchi so, I think we, you know lose out on that too, because if it is just a goal he has to make a decision."



 

Notes:

-The Bruins honored Army Ranger 1st. Lieutenant Scott Milley of Sudbury, MA. Milley was killed in action in Afghanistan on November 30th. He was 23 years old.

- In an odd comical movement, Zdeno Chara and Jason Pominville's skate laces became tangled up in the second period and needed to be untangled by one of the on-ice officials.

- Mark Stuart left the game with an upper body injury (Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sports reported on SportsNet Central tonight that it appeared to be a hand or wrist injury.) He will be evaluated tomorrow.

"Well Stuart’s upper body. He’ll be evaluated and, again, let you know tomorrow… we’ll give you more tomorrow. Honestly, he needs to be evaluated and I think we need to give you guys the right information tomorrow."

- Head Coach Claude Julien on Mark Stuart's injury

- Dennis Seidenberg played in his 400th career NHL game tonight.

- The Bruins will have several players with bumps and bruises after tonight's game. Several players left the game in pain before returning to the ice. Adam McQuaid looked to have done something to his hand or wrist. Milan Lucic was cut on the wrist by Tyler Ennis' skate blade, and Shawn Thornton was hit in the forearm by an Andrew Ference shot.Marc Savard

- This was the first Bruins game that ended in overtime this season. Their other 3 overtime games were decided in the shootout.

- According to Versus, Mark Recchi is the oldest player in NHL history to score an overtime game-winner.

- It seems like Mark Mancari gets called up every time the Sabres play the Bruins. Mancari's last 3 NHL games have been against the Bruins.

- This game could only be described as "weird" and Tim Thomas agreed with that sentiment:

"It was weird. I mean at times it was back and forth and at times there was nothing going on either way and so it was, it was kind of a weird game. That was how it felt for me in goal, it was weird to match the pace of the game. It would be slow and not much going on and then all of a sudden all the scrambling around the net and then nothing for a couple of minutes."

- Next up for the B's are the New York Islanders on Thursday night on home ice.

- For more on what the folks out in Western New York are saying about this game, check out Die By The Blade

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