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Boston
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35-41-6
Buffalo
Sabres
53-22-7

28 SOG
32 SOG
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BOS
BUF
game recap

Sabres 6, Bruins 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 6, Bruins 3
Boston Bruins 3, Buffalo Sabres 6

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Thomas Vanek celebrated after helping the Buffalo Sabres end their three-game losing streak, and then paid tribute to Boston Bruins rookie Phil Kessel.

Brian Campbell and Maxim Afinogenov scored 4 minutes apart in the third period to help the Sabres beat the Bruins 6-3 Wednesday night to snap a season-worst 0-2-1 skid. Daniel Paille scored twice, including an empty-netter in the final minute, while Vanek and Derek Roy also scored as Buffalo also ended a three-game home losing skid.

Kessel, playing in his fifth game back after having surgery for testicular cancer, had a career-best two goals in his first multipoint game.

"It's remarkable," Vanek said of his fellow University of Minnesota alum. "Seeing him out there and scoring those goals, being happy again for being part of the team. It makes everyone happy."

The Sabres victory didn't entirely overshadow the magnitude of Kessel's outing. The 2006 first-round draft pick, who missed 11 games and had not produced a point since he returned, declined to talk to reporters afterward. However, his teammates and coach Dave Lewis were certainly excited.

"It's nice to see him rewarded for what he's gone through," Lewis said. "It's probably his best game since coming back."

Kessel, who now has seven goals this season, appeared destined to be the game's star. He opened the scoring with a breakaway goal 10 minutes in and then tied the score at 3 in the opening minute of the third period, when he one-timed in Marc Savard's cross-ice pass.

The Eastern Conference-leading Sabres (32-11-4), however, responded by capping their best offensive outing in 11 games - dating to a 6-3 win over Washington on Dec. 26. It also made up for Buffalo squandering a 2-1 lead in a 3-2 shootout loss at Boston on Monday.

Campbell put the Sabres up 4-3 with 9:55 remaining, when his rising shot from the right point appeared to deflect off someone in front.

Afinogenov then sealed it 3:39 later, by finishing a great individual effort when he streaked past defender Andrew Alberts at the Bruins' blue line, cut to the net and backhanded a shot in.

It was an important win for a Sabres team that was not accustomed to losing and was uncharacteristically sloppy of late.

"We need that win. It was nice to get," Campbell said. "It's getting back to normal, but it's not where we need to be yet."

Goalie Ryan Miller stopped 25 shots, his best save coming with 8 minutes left when he kicked out his right pad to stop Brad Stuart's blast from the right circle.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff remained cautious, noting his team still has two games left, including a home contest against Vancouver on Friday, before opening a five-day All-Star Game break on Sunday.

Asked if the slump's over, Ruff replied with a wink: "I'll tell you on Friday."

Glen Murray also scored for the Bruins, who dropped to 2-6-1 in the last nine games and have lost five straight on the road - the team's worst stretch since going 0-5 in the final month of last season.

"We had our chances, especially early," Savard said. "I thought we had good momentum but we couldn't capitalize on it."

As for Kessel's outing, Savard smiled.

"It's great," Savard said. "Hopefully, he can roll it over with a couple of big games."

Notes: Boston was without C Wayne Primeau, who hurt his shoulder against the Sabres on Monday. D Bobby Allen, called up from AHL Providence on Tuesday, made his Bruins debut while playing only his second NHL game, and first since Dec. 31, 2002, when he was with Edmonton. ... Sabres LW Jochen Hecht, out for at least a week, missed his first game since sustaining a lower body injury on Monday. ... Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere had two assists to give him a single-season career high 38.

scoring summary
1st Period
10:16
BOS
Phil Kessel (6) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 BOS
12:29
BUF
PPG - Thomas Vanek (24) ASST: Daniel Briere (37), Brian Campbell (23)
1 - 1 Tie
14:05
BUF
Daniel Paille (1) ASST: Ales Kotalik (17), Jaroslav Spacek (14)
2 - 1 BUF
18:18
BOS
PPG - Glen Murray (21) ASST: Zdeno Chara (21), Marc Savard (41)
2 - 2 Tie
19:54
BUF
Derek Roy (8) ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (28), Jaroslav Spacek (15)
3 - 2 BUF
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
00:56
BOS
Phil Kessel (7) ASST: Marc Savard (42), Zdeno Chara (22)
3 - 3 Tie
10:05
BUF
Brian Campbell (6) ASST: Daniel Briere (38), Jason Pominville (15)
4 - 3 BUF
14:44
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov (21) ASST: Jiri Novotny (7), Derek Roy (24)
5 - 3 BUF
19:18
BUF
EN - Daniel Paille (2) ASST: Chris Drury (21)
6 - 3 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
06:57
BUF
Daniel Paille  Slashing against  Paul Mara
10:58
BOS
Marco Sturm  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
16:38
BOS
Stanislav Chistov  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Derek Roy
16:38
BUF
Derek Roy  Hooking against  Stanislav Chistov
17:30
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Cross checking against  Marc Savard
19:49
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hi-sticking against  Jeff Hoggan
19:49
BOS
Jeff Hoggan  Roughing against  Toni Lydman
2nd Period
04:55
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
07:58
BOS
Tim Thomas  Delaying the game
11:16
BOS
Brad Boyes  Slashing against  Maxim Afinogenov
15:53
BUF
Drew Stafford  Tripping against  Marco Sturm
18:51
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov  Hooking against  Mark Mowers
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Tim Thomas
SA: 31TOI: 59:32
Saves: 26EV: 21 - 25
PIM: 2PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .839SH: 1 - 1
Ryan Miller
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 25EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .893SH: 0 - 0