BUFFALO, N.Y. — Benoit Pouliot scored the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout, and the Boston Bruins rallied from two different two-goal deficits for their 10th straight win, a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.
Tyler Seguin had a goal and assist, Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara also scored, and Tim Thomas finished with 31 saves for Boston (13-7-0) in the first meeting between the two teams since Milan Lucic bowled over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller 11 days ago. Miller sustained a concussion on the play, and is still sidelined.
The Sabres didn’t go after Lucic at the time, but Paul Gaustad and Lucic squared off just 83 seconds into this one, with Lucic landing several rights to Gaustad’s head and body.
It is the Bruins’ first 10-game winning streak since Dec. 12 to Jan. 1, 2009.
T.J. Brennan scored his first NHL goal in his first game, and Christian Ehrhoff and Thomas Vanek also scored for the Sabres (12-8-1), who lost their second straight.
Jhonas Enroth finished with 36 saves in making his fifth straight start since Miller was injured.
The game had plenty of buildup after the Lucic-Miller incident, and there was a charged-up and playoff-type atmosphere in the sellout crowd.
The two teams didn’t disappoint, especially in the first period when they combined for 36 penalty minutes and 28 shots on goal.
With 8:27 to go in the first, Gaustad was involved in a scrum that started in the right corner in the Bruins zone when Marchand originally hit Nathan Gerbe along the boards.
Gaustad moved in and shoved Marchand before Adam McQuaid began cross-checking Gaustad to the ice. All 10 players joined in the pile, with Chara and Buffalo defenseman Robyn Regehr ultimately drifting away to fight.
McQuaid was given a double-minor, and Ehrhoff cashed in with a slap shot from the right point to stake the Sabres to a 1-0 lead at 11:56 of the first.
The goal snapped Thomas’ road shutout run at 234:05, and his overall shutout streak was stopped at 145 minutes.
With 84 seconds left in the second period, Buffalo’s Drew Stafford bumped into Thomas. Boston defenseman Andrew Ference immediately grabbed Stafford and the two began to wrestle.
Chara tied the game at 3-3 3:35 into the third period with a power-play goal.
Down by a pair of goals after the first period, the Bruins cut the lead in half when Seguin one-timed a shot in from the left point on the power play to make it 2-1 just 3 1/2 minutes into the second.
Brennan pushed the Sabres edge to 3-1 with just under 9 minutes left in the second period, whipping a shot in from the right circle.
Marchand made it 3-2 with 4 minutes remaining in the middle period, lifting a wrist shot in from a tight angle to the left of Enroth.
Vanek upped Buffalo’s lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal with 4:38 left in the first, wristing a shot from the slot past Thomas.
NOTES: Sabres C Jochen Hecht played in his first game of the season after missing the first 20 with a concussion. He replaced RW Patrick Kaleta in the lineup. … Buffalo RW Brad Boyes left with under 4 minutes remaining in the first period and didn’t return after Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg fell into and rolled over Boyes’ right leg, causing Boyes’ knee to buckle. … The Sabres played their first game without D Tyler Myers, who is out for at least a month with a broken wrist. … Boston’s overall shutout run produced by Thomas and Tuukka Rask was snapped at 174:07. … Seguin scored his 12th goal of the season, surpassing the 11 he scored last season as a rookie. … Former Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek watched the game from a private suite.