BOSTON (AP) _ Once the Boston Bruins rallied to take Buffalo into overtime,
they were back in familiar territory.
Mike Knuble scored the game-winner with 3.9 seconds left in overtime on
Saturday, converting a defensive stop by Dan McGillis and a feed from Michael
Nylander to give Boston a 3-2 victory over the Sabres. It was the NHL
record-tying 28th overtime game of the season for the Bruins.
``I think the unsung hero's Dan McGillis. He makes a great play to break up
a two-on-one,'' Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. ``I think from an excitement
standpoint it was exciting to watch. But it's not exciting for the coaches.''
Boston trailed 2-0 after one period but rallied to tie it on a fluke,
180-foot goal by Nick Boynton and a more traditional score by Glen Murray. With
about 12 seconds left in the extra period, the Sabres mounted a two-on-one that
was broken up when McGillis knocked away a crossing pass.
The Bruins turned the play into a breakaway of their own, with Nylander and
Knuble going in on Sabres goalie Martin Biron. Jeff Jillson, who was traded
from Boston to the Sabres this week, was the only defender back.
Just before the crease, Jillson went to the ice but he couldn't stop the
crossing pass that set up Knuble.
``It was kind of like a penalty shot,'' said Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft,
who stopped 23 shots. ``The whole crowd was on its feet. It was all coming down
to one shot.''
Raycroft allowed first-period goals to Daniel Briere and Jay McKee, then
settled down to extend the Bruins' unbeaten streak to five games. Boston went
into overtime for the seventh time in its last 11 games and is 7-7-14 overall
in overtime games; the Oilers and Canucks in 1999-00 and last year's Avalanche
also played 28 overtime games.
``It's not just the overtime but the close games; I can't remember the last
time it wasn't,'' Raycroft said. ``I think that's going to help'' in the
The Bruins will remain in first place in the Northeast Division with the
win. The Sabres have lost seven of their last 10 games and entered the day six
points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Boston hadn't mounted much offense until their first goal.
Brian Rolston won a faceoff in the Boston end and passed it back to Boynton.
Short-handed, he reared back to ice the puck and fired it off the boards at the
red line. But instead of following the boards around, as Biron expected, it
bounced off and went straight to the spot that Biron had vacated to play the
puck behind the net.
``It was weird,'' said Biron, who stopped 36 shots. ``I probably won't see
that again in five years.''
Murray tied it with 11:25 to play when he took a pass from Thornton and
slapped a one-timer past Biron to make it 2-2.
The two Northeast Division rivals made a pair of minor deals at Tuesday's
trading deadline, then met on Thursday night in the opener of the home-and-home
series. Boston won 3-2 in overtime.
Briere gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 5:57 into the game when he faked out Jiri
Slegr at the circle and went in alone on Raycroft. Buffalo made it 2-0 when
McKee shot from near the goal line and put it over Raycroft's shoulder. It was
his first goal of the season.