Sabres 4, Bruins 2

About the only breaks Ryan Miller had in the third period came

when his teammates scored a pair of goals.

Miller was busy stopping shots the rest of the period as he and

the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Thursday

night.

Miller made 18 of his 38 saves in the final period as Buffalo

earned its fifth win in seven games and continued to climb toward

playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.

”Up until the All-Star break we’ve got to run the table to be

around where we want to be,” Miller said. ”That first half of the

season, we had some efforts that I thought were pretty good but we

weren’t getting the rewards. That’s a frustrating feeling. So it’s

been good to get that positive feeling.”

Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville scored the only two goals of

the third period, which began tied at 2.

The Sabres were coming off a 2-1 overtime win against Montreal

on Tuesday and continued to play well, holding the Bruins scoreless

on four power plays.

”It’s a great win for us against a good team,” said Vanek, who

also had an assist on Pominville’s goal that put the Sabres up 4-2

with 3:20 left. ”Boston always plays us tough, especially here.

Two timely goals in the third period.”

Tyler Ennis had two assists and Nathan Gerbe and Cody McCormick

also scored for Buffalo, which won for the third time in five

meetings with Northeast Division rival Boston and improved to

21-20-5 overall.

Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell scored for the

first-place Bruins, who had won five of six and were 15-0-1 when

leading after the first period.

”From start to finish, I don’t think there’s much to say here

except we were totally flat tonight. From the first player to the

last,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. ”We came out flat tonight

and never seemed to find our game. Even in the third period –

you’re coming in there tied and you’ve got an opportunity in 20

minutes to seal your fate and it just wasn’t happening

tonight.”

Tuukka Rask had 29 saves for Boston, which was 0 for 4 on the

power play and fell to 18-2-3 when scoring first.

The Bruins led by a goal twice but couldn’t hold off the Sabres,

who got goals from Vanek and Pominville in the third and another

great night from Miller as he started his 23rd straight game.

Vanek came in on a 2-on-1 and kept the puck, snapping a shot

high to Rusk’s stick side for an unassisted goal with 14:47 left.

Vanek added an assist with a centering pass from the corner and

Pominville was able to get a stick on it while crashing the

net.

”We need him to produce. There’s no getting around it,” Miller

said of Vanek. ”It’s good to see him getting pucks to the

net.”

Miller robbed Mark Recchi and Marc Savard on great scoring

opportunities in the second to keep it tied at 2 and allow the

Sabres to win it in the final period.

Recchi was all alone in front and swept a backhand right into

Miller’s glove midway through the period, then on a 2-on-1 Savard

fired a shot that Miller got just enough glove on to tip it wide

and keep it tied at 2.

Sabres defenseman Steve Montador saved a goal early in the third

when the puck got behind Miller. Montador was able to sweep it out

of the crease before it could cross the goal line.

The Sabres tied it with 9:24 left in the second on a power-play

goal by Gerbe off a crossing pass from Tyler Myers. The puck

movement got Rask off balance and he had no chance to stop Gerbe’s

one-timer from the circle. It was the third goal of the season for

Gerbe, a former Boston College player.

Seidenberg gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the first, but McCormick

tied it early in the second when he slapped in his own rebound

after hitting the post for his seventh goal of the season.

Notes: Play was stopped for several minutes early in the second

period to replace a pane of glass in front of the goal judge. …

Savard’s assist on Seidenberg’s goal was the 499th of his

career.