Bruins 3, Sabres 2, OT

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BOSTON (AP)—Once the Boston Bruins rallied to take Buffalo into overtime, they were back in familiar territory.

Mike Knuble scored the game-winner with 3.9 seconds left in overtime on Saturday, converting a defensive stop by Dan McGillis and a feed from Michael Nylander to give Boston a 3-2 victory over the Sabres. It was the NHL record-tying 28th overtime game of the season for the Bruins.

“I think the unsung hero’s Dan McGillis. He makes a great play to break up a two-on-one,” Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think from an excitement standpoint it was exciting to watch. But it’s not exciting for the coaches.”

Boston trailed 2-0 after one period but rallied to tie it on a fluke, 180-foot goal by Nick Boynton and a more traditional score by Glen Murray. With about 12 seconds left in the extra period, the Sabres mounted a two-on-one that was broken up when McGillis knocked away a crossing pass.

The Bruins turned the play into a breakaway of their own, with Nylander and Knuble going in on Sabres goalie Martin Biron. Jeff Jillson, who was traded from Boston to the Sabres this week, was the only defender back.

Just before the crease, Jillson went to the ice but he couldn’t stop the crossing pass that set up Knuble.

“It was kind of like a penalty shot,” said Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft, who stopped 23 shots. “The whole crowd was on its feet. It was all coming down to one shot.”

Raycroft allowed first-period goals to Daniel Briere and Jay McKee, then settled down to extend the Bruins’ unbeaten streak to five games. Boston went into overtime for the seventh time in its last 11 games and is 7-7-14 overall in overtime games; the Oilers and Canucks in 1999-00 and last year’s Avalanche also played 28 overtime games.

“It’s not just the overtime but the close games; I can’t remember the last time it wasn’t,” Raycroft said. “I think that’s going to help” in the playoffs.

The Bruins will remain in first place in the Northeast Division with the win. The Sabres have lost seven of their last 10 games and entered the day six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Boston hadn’t mounted much offense until their first goal.

Brian Rolston won a faceoff in the Boston end and passed it back to Boynton. Short-handed, he reared back to ice the puck and fired it off the boards at the red line. But instead of following the boards around, as Biron expected, it bounced off and went straight to the spot that Biron had vacated to play the puck behind the net.

“It was weird,” said Biron, who stopped 36 shots. “I probably won’t see that again in five years.”

Murray tied it with 11:25 to play when he took a pass from Thornton and slapped a one-timer past Biron to make it 2-2.

The two Northeast Division rivals made a pair of minor deals at Tuesday’s trading deadline, then met on Thursday night in the opener of the home-and-home series. Boston won 3-2 in overtime.

Briere gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 5:57 into the game when he faked out Jiri Slegr at the circle and went in alone on Raycroft. Buffalo made it 2-0 when McKee shot from near the goal line and put it over Raycroft’s shoulder. It washis first goal of the season.

Notes

Knuble played his 500th NHL game. … Dmitri Kalinin was cut in the face during a first-period fight but was able to return. … Boynton took a puck in the face in the third period. He immediately dropped his gloves and stick and skated off the ice and to the locker room, covering his left eye withhis hands. He returned a few minutes later.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
M. Knuble M. Knuble
Boston Bruins
Scored at 4:56 of OT

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Andrew Raycroft Dal 25 23