Sabres Upend Surging Bruins
Thomas Vanek scored his 26th goal of the season and Matt Ellis scored twice to give the Sabres a much needed 4-2 victory in Boston Saturday afternoon.
Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller played fantastically making 29 saves and stopping all eleven third period shots amidst a Boston onslaught to earn his 17th win of the season.
Buffalo can say one thing; their 2-0 this year after a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night and an upset over what many consider the leagues best team.
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Boston had been on a ten game winning streak and had won fifteen of their last sixteen games en rout to a league leading 29 wins and 62 points through 39 games. Many expected that point streak to continue into the new year but Buffalo had other ideas.
The Sabres played perhaps their best defensive hockey of the season, holding the Bruins – who lead the league in goals with 143 – to just 2 despite 31 shots on goal.
Buffalo jumped on the Bruins early, taking a 2-0 lead a little over five minutes into the game with goals by Thomas Vanek (power play) and Matt Ellis. The Bruins made it 2-1 with a power play goal by Phil Kessel.
Matt Ellis added another goal in the second to make it 3-1 and also added an assist later in the period on a goal by Paul Gaustad to give the Sabres a comfortable 4-2 lead they would never relinquish.
The three points by Ellis were more than he had coming into the game, notching only one point in 14 previous games.
The scoreless third period was mostly a stalemate with Boston trying desperately to close the gap, out shooting Buffalo 11-2, but to no avail.
The win snapped the Bruins 14 game home winning streak. Their last loss at home came back on October 23, in a 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.
The two teams had split the previous four meetings with the home team winning each time. The Sabres have now accounted for 3 of the Bruins 10 losses this year, two in regulation and one in a shootout.
Buffalo closed to within five points of the Montreal Canadiens for second place in the Northeast division but remain well behind the Bruins. They host the Bruins in their last game of the season on April 11.
ProHockey-fans.com Buffalo Sabres Correspondent
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