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Bruins beat Buffalo, 5-4

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

By Jeremy Lemoine

Boston, MA - Bruins forward Brad Boyes scored a goal and assisted on two others, including the game-winner, to help power the Boston Bruins past the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4, on Saturday night at the TD Banknorth Garden. The game stood knotted at four apiece after the Bruins relinquished a two-goal lead until Marco Sturm netted the eventual winner with just 4:49 left to play. Glen Murray and Patrice Bergeron each added a goal and an assist.

"We got a timely goal at the end," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "We forced a turnover in the offensive zone and we were able to take advantage of it with a timely goal. Buffalo is a team that comes at you with a four and a five-man attack and they were coming hard at us. Fortunately for us, we were able to create that turnover and then have the ability to take advantage of it."

The B's entered the third period with a 4-2 lead. Only 38 seconds into the period, Buffalo cut that lead to one when Brian Campbell one-timed a pass up the boards from Chris Drury that beat Thomas high glove side.

Buffalo then evened the score at 12:52 on a Henrik Tallinder slapper from the point. Thomas was screened on the play and never saw the shot, as it beat him low stick side.

The Bruins refused to quit and continued to play hard. Three minutes later, Bergeron picked up a loose puck in the Buffalo zone and fed it to Boyes down low. Boyes slid the puck across the goalmouth to a wide-open Sturm who fired past Sabres goalie Ryan Miller for his 27th tally of the season and the eventual game-winner.

The win helped the Bruins avoid the possibility of an extra session and snapped a three-game losing streak. Buffalo, who currently occupies the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with 93 points, extended their losing streak to five straight games. The Bruins are now 1-6 in the season series against Buffalo.

"They say a two-goal lead is the worst in hockey," said Boyes who is third in rookie scoring with 60 points. "Lately, it's definitely been the worst for us.

"We had good persistence tonight. We never gave up, unlike the Atlanta game where we sat back a lot and gave the lead up. Tonight we kept going at them and didn't pull back as much. We created scoring chances and kept shooting the puck. It paid off."

Bergeron scored the only goal of the first period off a nice feed from Sturm during an odd-man rush at 12:16 for No. 24 of the season.

Derek Roy answered with a goal of his own just 6:40 into the second period on a rebound during a barrage of Buffalo shots on B's netminder Tim Thomas.

The Bruins then built a 3-1 lead in the middle period when Glen Murray and Tom Fitzgerald each scored goals identical of one another.

First, Brad Isbister fed Murray as he raced to the Sabres net. Murray redirected the pass by Miller's left leg for his 23rd goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.

Exactly a minute later, at 9:39, the B's went up 3-1 when Yan Stastny fed Tom Fitzgerald in the same place to notch his fourth goal of the year. Stastny's assist was his first career NHL point.

"(Yan) made a great play," said Fitzgerald. "He showed patience of a veteran. He just came down and knew where he wanted to pass it. He was trying to get it to the net and I was able to recognize it and get behind the defensemen. He just made a great pass right on my stick. All I had to do was redirect it."

Buffalo responded at 14:07 of the second. Maxim Afinogenov fed Drury, who slipped it past Thomas to cut the B's lead to one at 3-2.

With just 48 seconds left in the second period, the Bruins built their 4-2 lead when Murray forced a turnover in the Sabres zone. Boyes picked up the loose puck and cashed it in for No. 23 of the season.

Thomas played solid in net for Boston again as he turned aside 36 shots en route to his 11th win of the season.

"I know I didn't decide the game last night (against New Jersey), but I was trying to redeem myself from that fourth goal I let in," said Thomas, who was referring to the dump-in that snuck past him during last night's game. "I was trying to give ESPN something for the good top-ten instead of the worst."

Gorton named interim General Manager

Earlier in the day, Bruins President Harry Sinden relieved Mike O'Connell as General Manager of the Boston Bruins. Assistant General Manager Jeff Gorton will take on the General Manager duties on an interim basis.

"This was a difficult decision," said Sinden. "When you think something has to be done and believe something has to be done, and the consensus is that something needs to be done, you have to do it. Mike, in doing some of the things he did here as GM, believed in the same concept."

Jeff Gorton acknowledged that becoming a general manager has always been a position he has strived to attain, but had mixed emotions on the announcement.

"I've worked with Mike (O'Connell) for a long time and he's a good friend of mine," said Gorton. "Certainly this is a job that I have always wanted, but under these circumstances isn't really how I had drawn it up."
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