Bruins 2, Sabres 0

Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin was both good and fortunate in

stopping every shot he faced, giving Boston’s sputtering offense

time to finally figure out a way to beat Ryan Miller.

Khudobin made 26 saves – including reaching out with his stick

to prevent Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta from scoring into an open net –

to earn his second career shutout. David Krejci and Nathan Horton

had a goal and assist each by scoring in the final 7:06 of a 2-0

win over the Sabres on Sunday night.

Though scoring is still an issue for a team that’s been held to

two or fewer goals in regulation in seven of its past eight

outings, coach Claude Julien saw signs of progress.

”It was better, absolutely. And I think we’re going to call it

a step forward,” Julien said. ”The effort tonight was much

better. We’re skating better.”

Boston won for only the third time in eight games (3-4-1), while

improving to 2-5 in its past seven road games. The Bruins (22-8-4)

closed to within a point of Northeast Division-leading Montreal in

the standings.

The Sabres, meanwhile, continued to head in the other direction.

In dropping to 0-2-2 in their past four, Buffalo (13-17-6) fell

into 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings after being

passed by the Philadelphia Flyers.

With starter Tuukka Rask getting a rest, Khudobin was the

difference for a Bruins team that had allowed opponents to score

the first two goals in each of the previous four games.

”To start off, `Dobi’ made some huge saves for us, especially

early in the first period,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. ”And

that kind of kept the momentum on our side.”

There was Khudobin’s stick save on Kaleta three minutes in.

After misplaying the puck behind his own net, Khudobin stuck out

his stick in desperation to get a piece of Kaleta’s shot.

”I got lucky that I didn’t get scored on, because it wouldn’t

be good at all,” Khudobin said.

He was much better some eight minutes later, when he kicked out

his right pad to foil Tyler Ennis set up alone in front.

”Oh yeah, that was an interesting save. I just felt under my

right pad the puck, and didn’t know where it goes,” Khudobin said.

”But a save’s a save.”

The Bruins finally cashed in on their few chances by getting to

the front of the net.

Krejci opened the scoring during a scramble in front with 7:06

remaining, and after Horton was stopped twice by Miller. Krejci

then returned the favor by setting up Horton for an easy tap-in in

front with 4:16 left.

Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera was in front of the net for both

Bruins goals. He particularly accepted the blame on the second one

for allowing Horton to slip in behind him untouched.

”I did not see him coming to be honest,” he said.

Sekera’s lack of awareness drew a curious remark from interim

coach Ron Rolston, who provided several terse responses during his

postgame news conference.

”I can’t help you on that one,” Rolston said, when informed

Sekera said he didn’t see Horton. ”He was right next to him.”

Frustration continues to grow in Buffalo for a team that’s

already fired its coach Lindy Ruff after a 6-10-1 start. And there

continues to be speculation that the Sabres will continue shaking

up their roster before the NHL trading deadline on Wednesday.

After dealing veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold to St. Louis on

Saturday, general manager Darcy Regier suggested that he’s open to

any deal for any player – including Miller – for the right

price.

”I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a few more (trades),”

leading scorer Thomas Vanek said earlier in the day.

Vanek missed his third straight game with an upper-body

injury.

Miller finished with 29 saves. He appeared in his 491st career

game, matching the Sabres franchise record among goalies set by

Dominik Hasek.

NOTES: The Sabres were minus LW Ville Leino, who is listed day

to day with an upper-body injury. Leino scored twice against

Washington on Saturday, but did not finish the game. … Of

Khudobin’s 10 appearances this season, three have come against

Buffalo. … In the two Northeast Division rivals’ previous 266

meetings, the Bruins have the edge in wins, going 121-108-29-8

against the Sabres. Buffalo, however, had a 865-859 edge in goals,

making the Sabres one of four teams – Minnesota, Montreal and

Toronto – to have outscored Boston. … The Sabres were coming off

two shootout losses in which they squandered third-period leads.

Buffalo’s lost the lead in the third period an NHL-high 10 times

this season and gone 4-2-4, according to STATS.