In the span of 31 minutes, Dennis Wideman went from scapegoat to hero. The Bruins defenseman coughed up the puck in the neutral zone to setup Derek Roy's goal 11 minutes into the game to put the Sabres up 1-0. Then 1:59 into the third period, Wideman recorded the game-winner to help the Bruins inch closer to a playoff spot with a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. Miroslav Satan and Mark Recchi also recorded tallies for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask made 31 saves to earn his 21st win of the season.
Derek Roy put the Sabres up 1-0 at 11:00 of the first period. Roy took advantage of a bad give away in the neutral zone by Dennis Wideman, who has done more gift-wrapping than Santa Claus this season. Roy broke in all alone and roofed a wrister up high on Tuukka Rask for his 25th goal of the season.
Miroslav Satan knotted it up at 1-1 2:15 into the second period after he weaved his way to the net with the puck and his deke got Patrick Lalime to open up his pads enough for Satan to slip a backhander past the goal line for his 9th goal of the season.
After being booed all game long, Dennis Wideman heard a chorus of cheers after his wrist shot from the right point found it's way past Patrick Lalime to give the B's a 2-1 lead 1:59 into the third period. Vladimir Sobotka skated the puck in deep into the right wing corner and fed the puck back out to the point for Wideman, who fired a wrister for his 6th goal of the season.
Mark Recchi gave the Bruins some insurance late in third period, when when he deflected Zdeno Char's one-timer from the left point into the back of the net with 3:25 remaining in the game.
- The Bruins handed out their annual awards before tonight's game:
Eddie Shore/Gallery Gods Award (for hustle and determination): Mark Recchi
Elizabeth Dufresne Award (for outstanding play during home games): Patrice Bergeron
John P. Bucyk Award (for charity work): Shawn Thornton
3 Stars Awards:
3rd Star Award: Tuukka Rask
2nd Star Award: David Krejci
1st Star Award: Patrice Bergeron
- Zdeno Chara played with a full cage after breaking his nose during Monday night's game. He logged a team-high 30:20 tonight.
- There were audible boos for Dennis Wideman whenever he touched the puck following Wideman's first period blunder.
- The Bruins now have two games remaining in the regular season (Saturday vs. Carolina & Sunday @ Washington).
- The Bruins are in 6th place in the East with 87 points. Their magic number is now down to 2 points. A combination points for the Bruins or possible points missed by the Rangers that totals 2 or more will clinch a playoff spot for the B's.
- With the Toronto Maple Leafs locking up the second worst record in the NHL, the Bruins are guaranteed one of the top three picks in this summer's NHL Entry Level. The B's will find out where they will be selecting when the ping-pong balls fall into place next Tuesday night.
- Claude Julien has shortened his bench on the blue line. Call-ups Andrew Bodnarchuk (3:11 TOI) and Adam McQuaid (8:45 TOI) saw limited action.
- The Bruins went 0 for 5 on the power play.
- For more on tonight's game, check out Die By The Blade