The Buffalo Sabres journeyed through the snow to Boston tonight, only to fall in a tough overtime loss to the Bruins, 3-2. The matchup was the second of six this season between the Northeast Division rivals and Boston’s second victory.
Although Buffalo managed to snag a point in the standings, they battled hard to secure it. Both Luke Adam, recently called up from Portland, and Thomas Vanek netted goals for the Sabres.
Adam’s was his first in his NHL career, a goal he will always remember.
“It’s nice, to get the first one is pretty nice,” said Adam about his first career goal.
Tonight’s matchup was also a Vezina Trophy showdown between the reigning recipient, Ryan Miller and past winner, Tim Thomas. With five shutouts under his belt this season already, Thomas currently sits atop the NHL goaltender list. Despite missing a small handful of games with a lower-body injury, Miller returned strong and recorded his first two shutouts of the year in Buffalo’s past two games.
It is no surprise that Milan Lucic managed to tally his 13th goal of this season in tonight’s contest. Lucic slid a nice wrap around glove-side past Miller 13:01 into the first period. Surprisingly, it was only Lucic’s third goal against Miller in the 17 meetings their teams have had since he started with the Bruins in the 2007-08 season.
The Sabres battled back and knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal by Adam a little over halfway through the middle period. After Thomas denied Jason Pominville’s initial shot, Adam picked up the loose puck and delivered for his first of the year in his eighth game as a Sabre.
Less than five minutes into the final stanza, Vanek gave the Sabres the 2-1 lead. Vanek riccochet the puck off the left shoulder blade of Thomas — behind the Boston net — and sneaked one past the Bruins netminder for his 11th of the season. The goal also marks Vanek’s 193rd of his career, pulling him closer to the 200 goal milestone. After a slow start to the season, Vanek now has 21 points and is only five behind the team’s leader, Derek Roy.
Boston answered back and tied it at two nearly ten minutes later at 13:39, when Nathan Horton slapped one past Miller for his 10th of the year. With the goal, Horton earns a multiple-point game, having assisted on Lucic’s tally in the first period.
The Sabres were only given one power-play advantage, with the other Boston penalty being on Johnny Boychuk for fighting Steve Montador, who also took a seat in the box at the same time. In the final minutes, Miller was given quite the workout, as Bruin snipers took numerous shots and he had to make multiple saves.
The score still read 2-2 at the end of regulation, and the teams headed to overtime. With Adam in the box with a 4:00 high sticking penalty, Bruins forward deflected a shot from defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and at first the goal was waived off. After video review however — where the overhead camera revealed that the puck sneaked beneath the crossbar — the 43-year-old Recchi was rewarded with his sixth goal of the year, and the Bruins were rewarded with the victory.