Recchi tips Seidenberg’s OT slapper, and it counts

Posted Dec. 07, 2010, at 10:50 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 07, 2010, at 11:13 p.m.

BOSTON — Mark Recchi tipped Dennis Seidenberg’s slap shot past Ryan Miller in overtime, a power-play goal that was initially waved off by the referee, and the Boston Bruins escaped with a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

The game continued until the next whistle, with 1:58 left, but the goal 2:11 into the period officially ended it.

After the replay was shown on the scoreboard, fans cheered and began leaving the arena even before the goal was posted.

Tim Thomas stopped 28 shots to help Boston bounce back from a shootout loss to Toronto on Saturday.

Miller made 33 saves for Buffalo, allowing a goal for the first time since Nov. 27. The shutout streak of 161 minutes, 35 seconds was the longest of his career.

Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton also scored for the Bruins. Luke Adam netted his first NHL goal for Buffalo, but he also raked his stick across Marc Savard’s face to give Boston an overtime power play — a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.

In their first visit to Boston since they were eliminated in the first round of last season’s playoffs, the Sabres took a 2-1 lead in the third period on Thomas Vanek’s goal. But Horton tied it with 6:21 left in regulation when Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber passed the puck right to him in the slot.

In overtime, Buffalo had a chance to win it when the puck went to Derek Roy right in front of the net, with no Boston players except the goalie to beat. Roy tried to stickhandle Thomas out of position, but Patrice Bergeron finally skated in to break up the play and keep the Bruins in it.

When the puck went the other way, Adam reached up and caught Savard in the face with his stick. The Bruins forward buried his face in his hands in apparent pain as the referee raised his arm for the penalty. Adam was given four penalty minutes for drawing blood, meaning the Bruins would have the power play for the last 3:14 of overtime had they not scored.

With the 4-on-3 advantage, Boston set up in the Sabres end and put together sustained, crisp passing until Seidenberg lined up a slap shot that went over Miller and ricocheted off the back of the net so fast that the referee didn’t see it go in. The fans booed, but the Bruins seemed to know that the next whistle would end it.

Miller’s shutout streak ended when Lucic sneaked the puck past him as he tried to squeeze the goal post to close the gap. The puck landed behind Miller and over the line; he quickly covered it up with his pad, but Bergeron pointed at the puck until the referee came over and ruled it a goal.

Adam tied it with 7:02 left in the second period when he got to a loose puck in the slot after a scramble and wristed it past Thomas. Vanek converted the go-ahead goal when he went behind the net for the puck and flipped it toward the net. It hit Thomas in the back on his left side and bounced in.

NOTES: Seidenberg played in his 400th NHL game. … Bruins D Mark Stuart didn’t come out for the second period, and the team said he wouldn’t return. There was no further information available about his departure. … The Bruins didn’t manage a shot on goal for the first 7:16 of the game. … Vanek also hit the post late in the game. … The Sabres are the only team the Bruins have never swept in a season series. … It was Lucic’s 13th goal of the season; he had 12 last season in 25 games while missing most of it because of injuries.

Panthers 4, Avalanche 3

SUNRISE, Fla. — Stephen Weiss scored his second goal of the game 43 seconds into overtime to give Florida a victory over Colorado.

Bill Thomas and David Booth also had goals for Florida, which has won two straight following a three-game losing streak. Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves.

John-Michael Liles, Daniel Winnik and Matt Duchene scored for the Avalanche, who have lost four in a row.

Craig Anderson, who served as Vokoun’s backup for four seasons before signing with Colorado last offseason, made 21 saves.

Canadiens 4, Senators 1

MONTREAL (— Tied at home through two periods, the Montreal Canadiens geared up in their dressing room for a strong finish — and it worked.

Jeff Halpern, Brian Gionta and Roman Hamrlik scored third-period goals and Carey Price made 27 saves as Montreal beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.

Halpern broke a 1-1 tie 2:18 into the third, Gionta put the Canadiens ahead by two goals midway through the period, and Hamrlik closed the scoring with 3:32 left. Michael Cammalleri added a power-play goal in the first for Montreal.

“We came back in here and we knew we had an opportunity to win a hockey game,” said Price, who turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the second to keep the game tied. “It was still 1-1 and it was up to us to play out the 20 minutes, and we did it.”

The Canadiens are 8-1-1 at home since a 3-2 loss to the Senators on Nov. 6.

“We’ve said all year that our goalie’s given us a chance to win every game,” Halpern said. “When we’ve had a couple of lulls in our season, he’s come out with unbelievable performances.

“He covers up a lot of mistakes that we make as a team, but he also gives us confidence to feel good about the way we’re playing and to get on things.”

Ottawa’s Nick Foligno scored a power-play goal late in the first period, but the Senators fell to 3-7-1 in their last 11 after beating the Rangers in New York on Sunday.

“They’re such a strong team when you let them get going, and that seemed to be the case tonight,” Foligno said. “We just kind of let them gain too much momentum, and they took advantage of it.”

Halpern put the Canadiens ahead for good when he drove the right side and held the puck until goalie Pascal Leclaire sprawled to the ice. He then scored his sixth goal into an open side.

“He came out so far that there was a lot of space behind him, and he was down,” Halpern said. “It was more of me freezing myself and skating into the corner. It probably looked better than what was going through my head.”

Gionta netted his ninth off a 2-on-1 rush with Andrei Kostitsyn to make it 3-1 at 10:01.

Hamrlik scored during 4-on-4 play when he batted in a puck above the head of goalie Brian Elliott, who got a glove on Gionta’s shot — the first drive he faced after replacing Leclaire moments earlier.

“I thought we did a good job of regrouping in between periods and getting back on track,” Gionta said.

Leclaire, who made 30 saves overall, left the game briefly with 4:22 remaining in the third after breaking a skate blade. Elliott stopped one of two shots he faced in the 2:28 he played before Leclaire returned.

Montreal held a 13-6 shots advantage in the first, but the game was tied 1-1 after the period.

Cammalleri scored his ninth goal on an unassisted effort at 9:09, taking advantage of a turnover by Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Foligno tied it with his second goal after he took Jason Spezza’s cross-ice pass and put in a shot from the left side off Price’s left pad with 8.5 seconds remaining in the period.

NOTES: Senators forward Peter Regin was a healthy scratch for a second straight game. Rookie Bobby Butler took his place in the lineup again after making his season debut Sunday. … Canadiens C Scott Gomez left the game in the second period because of a lower body injury and didn’t return. … Rookie D P.K. Subban was left out of Montreal’s lineup for a third straight game in favor of rookie Yannick Weber.

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