BOSTON - Drew Stafford scored the only shootout goal after Buffalo tied the game in the final minute of regulation, and the Sabres beat the Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday night in the first pro game in Boston since the marathon bombings on Monday.
Boston still clinched a playoff berth by gaining one point. The Bruins are tied in points with Montreal atop the Northeast Division, but have one game in hand on the Canadiens. Both teams trail Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh by nine points.
There was heightened security at TD Garden where cars entering the garage were searched, and fans were checked with wands and patted down.
There was a pregame period of silence and a slideshow of scenes from the Boston Marathon in which three people died and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs went off near the finish line on Monday.
The 10th-place Sabres are two places and two points below the Eastern Conference's post-season cutoff, but have only four games to go.
PENGUINS 6, CANADIENS 4
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brenden Morrow scored two goals for the second straight game and Pittsburgh beat Montreal to move closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Penguins lead the Canadiens by nine points in the fight for the top seed. Both teams have five games remaining.
Brandon Sutter added two goals for Pittsburgh, and newly acquired Jarome Iginla and Doug Murray also scored for the Penguins, who had little trouble with the Canadiens despite playing without injured stars Sidney Crosby (broken jaw) and Evgeni Malkin (shoulder).
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots, and Pittsburgh dominated in racing to a quick 4-0 lead.
Brian Gionta, Alex Galchenyuk, Gabriel Dumont and Andrei Markov scored for the reeling Canadiens, who have lost three straight. Peter Budaj started in goal but was pulled after stopping just six of the nine shots he faced in the first period.
Carey Price relieved and allowed three goals on 20 shots, absorbing the loss.