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Miller, Sabres edge Bruins in shootout

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Derek Roy made the most of his second chance.

Roy's giveaway led to the game-tying goal by Boston's Zdeno Chara 3:36 into the third period. But when coach Lindy Ruff sent him out in the fourth round of the shootout, Roy delivered the winning goal as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Bruins 2-1 before a packed house at First Niagara Center on Friday.

"I just felt in the shootout, 'OK, I'm going to give you a chance to get it back for us,'" coach Lindy Ruff said of his decision to use. "It was great to see it go in. It was great to see him respond and get us that goal."

After Boston's David Krejci and Buffalo's Thomas Vanek traded goals to force the shootout past three rounds, Roy drove in from the right side, faked a cut to the net and backhanded a shot that glanced off goalie Tuukka Rask's glove, hit the right post and went in.

"Big goal for us," Roy said. "Huge goal for us."

Benoit Pouliot had a chance to force a fifth round, but fired wide.

Ryan Miller made 35 saves through 65 minutes and stopped three of four shootout attempts as the Sabres (27-27-7) improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games and 8-3-2 in their past 13. They moved ahead of Tampa Bay into 11th place in the East, five points behind eighth-place Florida

Buffalo (27-27-7) jumped ahead of idle Tampa Bay to move into 11th place, five points behind eighth-place Florida.

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. But Boston (36-20-3) continues to struggle on offense, having managed just 18 goals in regulation in its past 11 games.

The Bruins are also having difficulty stringing wins together -- after a 4-2 victory at St. Louis on Wednesday, the B's have failed to win consecutive games in more than a month. They are 8-9-2 in their past 19 games since back-to-back wins on Jan. 10-12.

Coach Claude Julien wasn't too disappointed. He credited his players for rallying back in a game in which Boston outshot Buffalo 36-28, including 15-5 in the third period.

"Maybe not back-to-back wins, but back-to-back good efforts," Julien said. "I thought we really played well in the third, I thought we took it to them."

It was a big improvement for Rask from his last visit to Buffalo -- he was yanked after allowing three goals on 10 shots in 22 minutes during a 6-0 loss on Feb. 8.

Rask had no chance on Andrej Sekera's goal with 5:15 left in the second period. The defenseman beat him with a superb wrist shot from the right circle after taking a passout from Tyler Ennis.

Like his coach, Rask wasn't upset at going home with just one point.

"A point for us is OK," he said. "We haven't played consistently over the past couple of weeks. But I think against St. Louis we played a great game, and today we played a good game ... and we have to keep it going."

Boston faces a big test on Saturday when it visits Ottawa, which trailed the Bruins by just two points in the Northeast Division. They host the Senators on Tuesday.

"This is where a lot of things are going to be decided here, whether we make it a tight race or whether we really push them down," Julien said. "We'll be up to the task."

The game against Boston was the Sabres' eighth of nine at home; they begin a five-game trip Saturday night against the Rangers in New York.

At least they're leaving town with some momentum.

"I'm just happy to get some wins," Miller said. "I guess it doesn't really matter who it's against. But we know they're a very good team and we had to play a good game to beat them, and those do feel good."

Miller is looking more and more like the goaltender who won the Vezina Trophy two years ago.

"He's playing unbelievable," Ennis said. "We all know that is the way he plays, and we have a lot of confidence in him."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
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