Victory Slips Away
Saturday, 03.25.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
March 25, 2006
by Brian Wheeler
Facing an opponent that they had defeated six times this season, the Buffalo Sabres dropped their fifth-consecutive game after Marco Sturm scored with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to give the Boston Bruins a 5-4 victory on Saturday night.
"We made some big mistakes," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "On some of the goals, we got flat-out out worked and we had some casual coverage that cost us goals."
Henrik Tallinder tied the game with a fierce slapshot from the left point at 12:52 before Sturm's one-timer in front of netminder Ryan Miller at 15:11 extended Buffalo's longest losing streak of the season. The Sabres had dominated the third period to that point.
"We've made progress, but enough is enough," said Ruff. "We have to play good enough not to make the mistake at the end of the game. We played a real solid third period where really we only gave them one opportunity to score in the period and we have to eliminate that."
Buffalo's power-play continued to struggle against the Bruins despite generating many scoring opportunities. Boasting second ranked power play unit entering the contest, Buffalo has now failed to score on its last 22 man-advantage situations, including seven opportunities against Boston.
Daniel Briere's 20th goal of the season scored in the third period against the Ottawa Senators on March 18 was the last power-play goal that Buffalo has registered.
"Tonight from an offensive standpoint, we got back to our game," said Ruff. "We're a little bit like gunslingers, but I thought we had some lazy mistakes. I won't put up with it. If we have players that don't want to compete defensively, someone is going to have to pay the price for it."
Derek Roy and Chris Drury each recorded goals in the second period for Buffalo, while defensemen Brian Campbell and Tallinder scored in the final act. Miller finished the game with 36 saves, including 13 in second.
Marco Sturm fed Patrice Bergeron with a soft pass to the front of the net, where the center one-timed the puck over Miller's right pad to give Boston the 1-0 lead at 12:16.
Buffalo tied the game with the first of five goals scored in the second period.
Roy netted his 16th of the season after Teppo Numminen's slapshot from the point deflected off Hal Gill's skate and left Boston goaltender Tim Thomas struggling to get in position. Roy's one-timer beat the downed Thomas at 6:40.
With two almost identical plays, Boston jumped to a 3-1 lead. Glen Murray redirected Brad Isbister's feed from the left wing past Miller at 8:38, and Tom Fitzgerald tipped Yan Stastny's pass a minute later for the Bruins third goal of the game.
Fresh out of the penalty box, Maxim Afinogenov feathered a great pass to Drury at the right post that the center redirected past Thomas for his 23rd goal of the season and brought Buffalo to within a goal.
Off Afinogenov's turnover in Buffalo's zone, Brad Boyes snapped a wristshot over the left pad of Miller to regain the two-goal Boston lead with just 45 seconds remaining in the second.
Buffalo moved to within a goal of Boston 38 seconds into the third after Campbell's slapshot from the left point found its way through traffic and into the top right corner of the net.
Tallinder's slapshot from the left point beat Thomas, who was screened by Thomas Vanek and Roy, on the shortside to tie the game 4-4 at 12:52.
Marco Sturm scored the game winning goal after Tallinder's clearing pass took a strange bounce off the boards. Boyes collected the loose puck in Buffalo's zone and fed Sturm in front of Miller for the easy one-timer and his 27th goal of the season.
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0-1 (12:16): Marco Sturm fed Patrice Bergeron with a soft pass to the front of the net, where the center one-timed the puck over Ryan Miller's right pad. The goal is Bergeron's 24th of the season. Sturm gets the primary assist, while Brad Boyes gets the secondary.
1-1 (6:40): Teppo Numminen's slapshot from the point deflects off Hal Gill's skate to Derek Roy, who one-timed the loose puck over a downed Tim Thomas. The even-strength goal is Roy's 16th of the season. Numminen and Brian Campbell get the helpers.
1-2 (8:38): Glen Murray redirects Brad Isbister feed from the left wing on the rush to gain Boston's second lead of the contest and his 23rd goal of the season. Isbister and David Tanabe get the helpers.
1-3 (9:39): Cutting to the net, Fitzgerald tips Stastny's pass from the left boards past Miller to a two-goal Boston lead. The goal is Fitzgerald's fourth of the season. with the lone assist, Stastny records his first career NHL point.
2-3 (14:07): Fresh out of the penalty box, Maxim Afinogenov feathered a great pass to Chris Drury at the right post that the center redirected past Thomas for his 23rd goal of the season. Afinogenov and Mike Grier get the helpers.
2-4 (19:11): Collecting Maxim Afinogenov's turnover in Buffalo's zone, Brad Boyes snaps a wristshot over the left pad of Miller to regain the two-goal Boston lead. The goal is Boyes' 23rd of the season. Glen Murray gets the lone helper.
3-4 (0:38): Buffalo moves to within a goal of Boston after Brian Campbell's slapshot from the left point found its way through traffic and into the top right corner of the net. The goal is Campbell's 10th of the season. Drury and Taylor Pyatt get the assists.
4-4 (12:52): Henrik Tallinder's blast from the left point beat Tim Thomas on the shortside to tie the game. Thomas never saw the shot as he was screened by both Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy. The goal is Tallinder's sixth of the season. Afinogenov and Toni Lydman record the assists.
4-5 (15:11): After Tallinder's clearing pass was intercepted, Brad Boyes fed Marco Sturm for the easy one-timer and his 27th goal of the season. Boyes and Patrice Bergeron get the helpers.
Quotes courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio station of the Buffalo Sabres.