Sabres stand strong, but fall in overtime

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Beat up, battered and bruised. The Sabres went into Boston with a number of injuries and things didn’t exactly improve. Buffalo gave up the tying goal late in the third and Loui Eriksson skated in on a breakaway and netted the game-winning goal in overtime, giving the Bruins a 4-3 victory over Buffalo on Sunday night at the TD Garden.

With Tuukka Rask pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Dougie Hamilton blasted one past Jhonas Enroth with under two minutes to go, knotting the game at three.

Matt Bartkowski leveled Brian Gionta with a blind-side hit, and Marcus Foligno stepped in and dropped the gloves immediately. The Sabres captain did not return to the game, nor did Foligno, who left with an injury.

Bartkowski ended up getting five minutes for interference, five for fighting and a game misconduct, resulting in two minutes of four-on-four action and a three minute Sabres power play.

On a positive note, Tim Schaller beat Rask with a shot on a wraparound attempt, recording his first NHL goal to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead early in the 3rd period. Schaller’s parents were shown celebrating in the crowd.

“In front of family, couldn’t have been better,” Schaller said. “Used to go to games here growing up. Didn’t even know how to celebrate. I’m excited to get the puck to my parents. That’ll be special for them.”

Andrej Meszaros completed a pretty passing play with a shot past Rask for his first goal as a Buffalo Sabre, tying the game at one.

“It’s always nice to score a goal, especially against your old team, I’m happy I got this one out of the way.”

The Bruins took advantage of a power play after Tyler Ennis went to the box for tripping. Boston appeared to have scored, but Loui Eriksson made just enough contact with Jhonas Enroth in the crease to have the referee waive the goal off. Seconds after, Dougie Hamilton ripped one in for his sixth goal of the season, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

Enroth came up big by flashing the leather and robbing Patrice Bergeron on a shorthanded breakaway toward the end of the first.

Rasmus Ristolainen put Buffalo in front with a shot that deflected off a Bruins’ defenseman and into the net. Boston answered promptly as Chris Kelly tipped in a shot from Zdeno Chara, evening the score at two apiece.

The Sabres will head to Detroit where they will pay a visit to the Red Wings on Tuesday. That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.

Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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