BOSTON BRUINS (16-14-3) vs. BUFFALO SABRES (13-18-2)
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9:45 p.m. - OT Snapshots: FINAL BOS 4, BUF 3
SKIP TO MY LOU: Loui Eriksson provided the OT winner once again helping the Bruins edge the Sabres 4-3 at TD Garden on Sunday night. Dougie Hamilton (2) and Chris Kelly led the Bruins offense during regulation, while Tuukka Rask stood strong between the pipes and stopped 25 of 28 shots he faced. The Bruins are back in action on Tuesday as they take on the Nashville Predators at TD Garden in the B's final game before the NHL's holiday break.
POSTGAME COVERAGE: Stay tuned for our postgame coverage and follow us on Twitter @NHLBruins for quotes from the B's locker room and Head Coach Claude Julien.
UPCOMING GAME: The Bruins are back in action on Tuesday as they take on the Nashville Predators at TD Garden in the B's final game before the NHL's holiday break. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET
9:35 p.m. - 3rd Period Snapshots: BOS 3, BUF 3
DOUGIE COMES UP BIG: Dougie Hamilton tied the game for the Bruins with under two minutes remaining in the third period for his second goal of the game and third point of the contest. As the puck was cycling its way around after the B's won a puck battle down low, you could audibly hear Hamilton slamming his stick to the ice calling the the puck. Patrice Bergeron fed Hamilton and Dougie lifted a wrister past Enroth to knot the game, which eventually carried to overtime. The goal is Hamilton's seventh of the season. Hamilton now has three points on the night (two goals, one assist).
SCHALLER GIVES BUFFALO THE LEAD: Less than two minutes into the third period, Buffalo recall Tim Schaller, up on his first stint with the Sabres, scored his first NHL goal on a wraparound bid to give Buffalo a 3-2 lead.
8:28 p.m. - 2nd Period Snapshots: BOS 2, BUF 2
BRUINS ANSWER: Not long after Buffalo took the lead, the Bruins evened things back up when Chris Kelly skillfully redirected a Zdeno Chara wrister past Jhonas Enroth for Kelly's third game of the season. The goal came at 15:36 into the second period and extends Kelly's point streak to four games. The assist is Chara's fourth of the year and Hamilton's 13th.
BUFFALO TAKES THE LEAD: With 6:50 remaining in the middle frame, Dougie Hamilton was whistled for a tripping penalty on Tyler Ennis putting the Sabres on the power play. With :31 left on the Buffalo man-advantage, the puck took a Sabre friendly bounce past Tuukka Rask at a tough angle to give the Sabres the lead. Credited with the goal is Rasmus Ristolainen.
BUFFALO TIES IT UP: With 13:54 to go in the second period, former Bruin Andre Meszaros tied the game when he chipped a centering pass from Chris Stewart past Tuukka Rask for his first goal of the 2013-14 campaign. The assist marks Stewart's fourth helper of the season, while Johan Larsson earns the secondary assist for his first of the year.
7:48 p.m. - 1st Period Snapshots: BOS 1, BUF 0
BARTKOWSKI & FOLIGNO DROP THE GLOVES: Following a hard Matt Bartkowski hit on Brian Gionta, Marcus Foligno engaged Bartkowski marking Foligno's third fight of the season and Bartkowski's first career NHL fight (playing in his 100th career game). Bartkowski was slapped with a five-minute major, five-minute interference and 10-minute misconduct. Foligno was assessed a two-minute instigator penalty, five-minute fighting major and 10-minute game misconduct.
TUUKKA STONES ENNIS: At 6:38 Tuukka Rask made his best save of the first period when he made a strong left to right push to stone a Tyler Ennis scoring chance on a two-on-rush following a B's turnover in the Sabres zone.
HAMILTON SCORES ON THE PP: At 14:45 in the the first period the Bruins received their first power play opportunity of the game when Dennis Seidenberg drew a tripping penalty from Buffalo's Tyler Ennis in the Bruins' zone. Entering the game the Bruins had a league-low 77 power play opportunities, converting at a 15.6% rate. The B's made their first man advantage of the game count, when it appeared Reilly Smith had scored at 14:28 when he ripped a shot from just below the blueline that beat Jhonas Enroth. However the referees immediately waived the goal off, as they deemed Loui Eriksson to have made contact with the Buffalo goaltender, rendering the goal illegal. Keeping the momentum going, Dougie Hamilton scored moments later for his sixth goal of the year to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Earning assists on the play were Eriksson (12) and Carl Soderberg (17)
6:30 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots: BOS vs. BUF
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (12-10-3, 2.50 GAA, .914 Save %) vs. Enroth (10-11-1, 3.01 GAA, .913 Save %). In 14 games against Buffalo, Rask is 6-5-1 with a 2.44 GAA and .922 save %. Enroth is 1-5-3 with a 3.78 GAA and .895 save % in 10 games vs. Boston.
BRUINS VS BUFFALO LIFETIME: The Bruins and Sabres are meeting for the 276th time tonight with the Bruins holding a 127-109-29-10 record and a 889-883 scoring advantage in those games. The Black & Gold are 75-43-14-3 in 135 home games in Boston with a 486-395 scoring edge in those contests. Boston is 9-3-2 in their last 14 games overall vs. the Sabres and are 5-1-1 in their last seven against Buffalo on home ice.
BRUINS POSTPONE HOLIDAY TOY DELIVERY: After consultation with local hospitals and medical professionals, the Bruins have postponed their annual toy delivery to local hospitals due to the mumps diagnoses to various NHL players. While there are no known diagnoses of the mumps to Bruins players, and the organization has worked with their medical staff to take every precaution necessary, the team feels that it is best to err on the side of caution and not risk exposure to any pediatric patients. In continuing the Bruins players' annual holiday tradition, over $17,000 worth of toys purchased on behalf the players by the Bruins' wives, girlfriends and B's alumni earlier this week at Target in Everett, MA will still be distributed to the local hospitals on Monday, courtesy of Gentle Giant. The Bruins will work with the local hospitals to reschedule the player visits after the Holiday Season.
TOYS FOR TOTS HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE: The Bruins and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Toys for Tots Program prior to tonight’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres, as well as on 12/23 vs. the Nashville Predators. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate or give a $10 donation to the Toys for Tots Program. For every toy or $10 donation made, you will receive a raffle ticket for your chance to win autographed Bruins memorabilia. Representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be on hand at the East and West turnstiles of TD Garden to collect toys and monetary donations. All toys will be distributed to less fortunate children in the community during the holidays. All monetary donations will be used to purchase additional toys.
ONE-GOAL GAMES: Each of Boston’s last five games have been decided by one goal. Eight of the B’s last 11 games have also been one-goal decisions.
MILESTONES APPROACHING: Boston defenseman Matt Bartkowski is one game shy of playing in 100 NHL/Bruins games.
STREAKING: Forward Chris Kelly enters tonight’s game riding a three-game point streak, having notched an assist in each of his last three games.
230 AND COUNTING: Following the Bruins/Senators game on December 13, the Bruins have sold out 230 consecutive regular season and playoff games at TD Garden. Their last non-sellout was on December 2, 2009 when they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning and drew 16,553.
SABRES NOTEBOOK: The Sabres will play 19 sets of back-to-backs this season and tonight will mark the completion of Buffalo’s eighth set of back-to-backs, after falling to the Capitals last night, 5-1. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first games of back-to-backs and 3-4-0 in the second game… Tyler Ennis appeared in his 300th NHL last night vs. the Colorado Avalanche… Josh Gorges is tied for fifth in the NHL in blocked shots with 80, despite missing nine games due to injury this season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 12-for-77 (15.6%, T-20th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 84-for-105 (80.0%, T-17th NHL)… Buffalo power play: 8-for-91 (8.8%, 30th NHL), Buffalo penalty kill: 89-for-112 (79.5%, 22nd NHL).