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Miraculous Comeback in Boston

Thursday, 11.02.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Miraculous Comeback in Boston
Down by three goals with less than nine minutes to play, the Buffalo Sabres proved that no lead is safe when time still remains. Maxim Afinogenov scored consecutive goals in the span of six minutes and Ales Kotalik tied the game with less than two minutes remaining to play, as the Sabres ultimately skated away with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Buffalo sailed into the TD Banknorth Garden the hottest team in the NHL after winning their first 10 games. But against the last place team in the Northeast Division, the Sabres high-octane offense, which led the league with 50 goals scored entering the contest, sputtered and struggled until the second half of the third period.

"I really felt that if we could get one early in the third we could get back in it," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "When we got that [second] goal, we got a little bit of momentum. Two goals in today's game is no insurmountable."

Out shot 28-18 through two periods, goaltender Ryan Miller kept the team within striking distance with key save after key save. He earned his ninth victory of the season with 30 saves and stops on two of three shootout attempts.

Kotalik and Daniel Briere each beat Boston netminder Tim Thomas with backhanders in the shootout as Buffalo recorded 23 of a possible 24 points in 12 games this season. Buffalo has still not lost during regulation, posting a 11-0-1 record.

"This team just knows that we can come back from a deficit," said Kotalik. "We just believe that we can do it even if it's in the third period and time is winding down.

"That just happened again tonight."

Jason Pominville scored Buffalo's first goal of the game and his sixth in as many games in the second period. Pominville's goal-scoring streak is nearing historic proportions. The franchise record is eight games and is currently shared by Alexander Mogilny, Mike Foligno and Miroslav Satan.

"We didn't come ready to play, but you've got to give Boston a lot of credit for how well they played in the first period," Ruff said. "They came hard, out skated us and out worked us.

"The last 40 minutes I thought was competed pretty evenly."

Boston struck first on a two-on-one rush in the second period after Miller stopped all 16 shots he faced in the first. PJ Axelsson one-timed Marc Savard's across-ice feed over Miller's left pad to claim his third goal of the season at 1:16 of the second.

Pominville deflected Brian Campbell's pass from the right point over the glove of Boston goaltender Tim Thomas to tie the game five minutes later.

Savard regained Boston's lead after backhanding a rebound that deflected off the left post for his second goal of the season at 13:26 of the middle frame.

Boston entered the third period with a 3-1 lead after scoring their second power-play goal of the night on a two-on-one rush.

Miller stopped a blazing slapshot from close range from Savard but Glenn Murray shoveled the rebound into the net for his fifth goal of the season at 19:16 in the second.

For the first time this season, Boston scores more than three goals in a game after Mark Mowers gets his first of the season. Skating down the slot, Mowers chipped Boyes' centering pass between Miller's pads to make the score 4-1 in favor of Boston at the 3:56 mark of the third period.

Afinogenov notches his seventh goal of the season after firing a quick wristshot from the slot and his eighth off a Thomas Vanek rebound to bring Buffalo to within a goal with three minutes remaining in regulation.

Kotalik sends the game into overtime after one-timing Paul Gaustad's pass from the corner past Thomas to make the score 4-4 at 18:25 of the third.
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Quotes courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82