BUFFALO, N.Y. — Derek Roy scored the decisive shootout goal in lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
Ryan Miller made 35 saves through regulation and stopped three of four shootout attempts in helping the Sabres improve to 3-0-1 in their past four games. Andrej Sekera scored for the Sabres, who are 8-3-2 in their past 13 games.
Zdeno Chara scored the tying goal 3:36 into the third period as the Bruins salvaged a point. Coming off a 4-2 win at St. Louis on Wednesday, Boston dropped to 8-9-2 in its past 19 games, a stretch in which it has failed to win consecutive games.
After Boston’s David Krejci and Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek traded shootout goals, Roy put the Sabres ahead by driving to the net and lifting a backhander that tipped off the glove of Tuukka Rask, but had enough momentum to drop in behind the goalie.
Benoit Pouliot had a chance to tie it, but missed the net on Boston’s final shootout attempt.
Boston lost despite out-shooting the Sabres 36-28 overall, and 15-5 in the third period. Also, the Bruins played a penalty-free game for the first time since a 2-2 tie at the New York Islanders on Jan. 27, 2004.
The Bruins have been having difficulty generating much offense over the past three weeks, in which they’ve been outscored 30-18 in regulation over their past 11 games, and shut out four times. That included Miller’s 36-save outing in a 6-0 loss at Buffalo on Feb. 8.
It doesn’t help that they continue to play without forwards Nathan Horton (concussion) and Rich Peverley (sprained knee), who have combined for 26 goals and 70 points. Vanek had a chance to seal the win 2:15 into overtime when Roy set him up to the right of the net, and Rask out of position. Kicking the puck up to his skate, Vanek tried to stuff it in the open side, only to have Chara block it with an out-reached stick.
Sekera opened the scoring with 5:15 left in the second period, on a great set up by Tyler Ennis. Ville Leino started the play by dumping the puck in along the left boards. Ennis drove in behind the net and secured the loose puck before coming out the right side and feeding Sekera in the right circle, from where he snapped a shot just inside the left post.
Chara tied the game with a power-play goal. After having his initial shot blocked, he stopped Roy’s weak clearing attempt and the right point, and slapped a hard riser that sailed over Miller’s left shoulder.
It was only Boston’s third power-play goal in 25 chances over the past 11 games.
The Sabres had a scoring chance in the opening minute, when Vanek threaded a pass through the middle, which Roy tipped toward the net. The puck caromed off Chara’s skate and then hugged the goal line before Rask pushed it away.
Later in the period, Chara had Miller beat with a hard shot from the left point, only to have the puck strike the crossbar.
Miller was sharp, too. His best save came a minute into the second period, when Paul Gaustad’s errant pass inside the blue line led to Boston’s Tyler Seguin breaking in alone up the middle. Seguin snapped a shot from 10 feet only to have Miller get a piece of it and deflect it wide.
Miller also had to be careful in stabbing a bouncing shot from Seguin that went through a crowd with 2:50 left in the second period.
Rask has struggled, giving up 20 goals in going 0-4-1 in his previous five starts.
Notes: Bruins C Brad Marchand was booed by Sabres fans each time he touched the puck, a day after he referred to Buffalo as “the worst place in the NHL,” during an interview on a Boston radio station. … The Sabres recalled F Corey Tropp from AHL Rochester earlier in the day to fill in for RW Brad Boyes, who did not play because of an upper-body injury. … After completing a stretch of playing eight of nine games at Buffalo, the Sabres hit the road for a five-game swing that opens at the New York Rangers on Saturday. … The Bruins are in the midst of a six-game road trip that concludes at Ottawa on Saturday.
Canucks 2, Devils 1
NEWARK, N.J. — Cory Schneider had 30 saves and Aaron Rome and Mason Raymond scored goals as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 Friday night.
The win came a night after the Canucks ended the Detroit Red Wings’ NHL-record 23-game home winning streak.
The Canucks didn’t arrive in New Jersey until 3:30 a.m. because of snow-related delays in Detroit. They weren’t at their best, but still won for the ninth time (9-1-1) in 11 games. Schneider and a couple of unexpected goal scorers proved the difference in handing New Jersey only its third loss since the All-Star break. The Devils are 9-2-1 since the break.
David Clarkson scored for the Devils on a play in which the puck deflected into the net off his stake. After a review, officials upheld the score.
Schneider was outstanding in winning for the 14th time in 19 decisions as Roberto Luongo’s backup.
He played his best when challenged by the Devils’ top line of Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique and Zach Parise, stopping Parise three times under the circles in the third period and defenseman Andy Greene on shots from the left point.
Patrik Elias missed an open net with just over three minutes to play and Schneider made a pad save on a shot that Clarkson didn’t hit right seconds later. A goalmouth scramble in the closing seconds was the Devils’ last gasp.
Schneider’s best save came in the opening period when he stopped Kovalchuk with a pad save point blank.
Coming into the game as the NHL’s highest scoring team, the Canucks led 1-0 after the first period with the goal generated by two unlikely players. Rome scored his first goal since Nov. 13 (28 games) when he came in from the point, took the rebound of a shot by teammate Christopher Tanev and scored into an open net.
It was his fourth goal of the season and came on Tanev’s first point of the season and second of his career.
Raymond made it 2-0 just 2:07 into the second period. He took a drop pass from David Booth above the right circle and ripped a shot past Martin Brodeur. Replays seemed to indicate the puck might have hit off Greene’s arm but it was inconclusive.
Clarkson got his 24th goal with 8:30 left in the second period when Elias’ centering pass went off his skate into an open net.
The Devils announced during the game they had acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky from Minnesota in a multi-player deal.
Notes: This was Vancouver’s first game at the Prudential Center since Dec. 2, 2009. … Canucks are 10-4-1 vs. Eastern Conference this season. … Devils C Ryan Carter returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a fractured finger. ….This was the only game between the teams this season. …The Canucks are 34-6-1 when scoring first.