The Bruins were able to hold on to beat the visiting Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in a game that served as a nice night cap to one of the best days on the Boston sports calender. Tuukka Rask (32 saves) was spectacular all night long, including in the game's final moments when he made a series of stops to preserve the win. Dennis Wideman and Patrice Bergeron provided the offense for the B's, while Mike Grier was the lone goal scorer for the Sabres.
Former BU Terrier Mike Grier gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 6:57 into the game. Raffi Torres' lead pass along the left wing boards found Grier at the left circle and Grier uncorked a wrister that beat Tuukka Rask for the early lead.
Dennis Wideman tied it up at 15:17 of the opening period. Vladimir Sobotka carried the puck into the zone on the right wing and then found Wideman in the slot trailing the play. Wideman hammered home Sobotka's pass with a one-timer for his first career playoff goal.
Patrice Bergeron made it 2-1 Bruins at 12:57 of the third period. Mark Recchi sent Tim Kennedy flying to win a puck battle in the right wing corner after Bergeron dumped the puck into the zone. Bergeron continued towards the net and Recchi then found him in front, where #37 beat Ryan Miller for his first goal of the playoffs.
Shortly after the goal, tempers flared and a scrum ensued. The featured bout was Vladimir Sobotka and Andrej Sekara, who paired off and swapped fists.
Buffalo put on a lot of offensive pressure in the game's final minutes, but Tuukka Rask was up for the challenge as B's were able to hang on to take Game 3 and the series lead at 2-1.
- The Sabres have scored first in all three games.
- Marc Savard skated today for the first time since the concussion. He is scheduled for a neuro test on Tuesday that will determine when he can return to game action.
- Johnny Boychuk laid a big open ice hit on Matt Ellis in the second period. Ellis left the game, but was able to return a few minutes later.
- Sabres narrowly edged the Bruins 39-38 in the hits departments. Zdeno Chara and Vladimir Sobotka had a game-high 6 hits for the B's.
- It was a 2 point night for Dennis Wideman who picked up a secondary assist on Patrice Bergeron's goal.
- The Sabres outshot the Bruins 33-29
- The Bruins won 58% of the face-offs.
- The D-Pair of Matt Hunwick and Dennis Wideman finished the game +2.
- The Bruins and Sabres will be back at it for Game 4 in Boston (7:00).
- For more on tonight's game from a Buffalo perspective, check out Die By The Blade. If you haven't checked out their site, I highly recommend it. They do a great Daily Links feature, where you can find pretty much anything that has been written about this series.