BOSTON (AP) -- Cam Neely provided the inspiration the Boston Bruins needed
Monday night to keep their unbeaten streak alive.
On the night Neely became the 10th Bruin whose number was retired, Sergei
Samsonov's tiebreaking goal with 7:12 remaining lifted the Boston to a 4-3
victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
"I talked to our players about drawing inspiration from this guy because he
is the consummate Bruin," coach Mike Sullivan said. "But, I was hoping to
draw the inspiration a little earlier, because it took us a while to get
Samsonov helped the Bruins rally from a two-goal deficit when he scored a
power-play goal from inside the blue line. Boston has won four straight and is
5-0-1 in its last six games.
It was only Samsonov's third goal since Nov. 8.
"It was a slow first period and we regrouped after the intermission,"
Samsonov said. "I'm not sure what it was, maybe just sitting around. We have
more confidence we can score now. It's a different mentality."
After Jason Botterill gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead 2:35 into the second period,
the Bruins scored three straight goals -- two by rookie Patrice Bergeron.
"If you look at the entire game, we played pretty solid," Sabres coach
Lindy Ruff said. "We didn't give up a whole lot of chances, but when we did,
they went in. We missed too many opportunities to bury them."
After pulling the Bruins within a goal with 4:52 remaining in the second,
Bergeron tied it when he knocked in a rebound of Nick Boynton's slap shot 4:23
into the third. Bergeron has six goals in eight games and is tied for the team
lead with 13.
"Patrice is a great player who is beyond his years," Brian Rolston said.
"There aren't too many 18-year olds that come into the league and do what he
Jochen Hecht built the Sabres' lead to 2-1 when he scored an unassisted
short-handed goal with seven minutes left in the first. Hecht has a goal and
three assists in the last three games.
Boston has allowed nine short-handed goals this season, trailing only the
Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks, who have given up 10.
Daniel Briere gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead when he knocked Hecht's pass by
goalie Andrew Raycroft at 7:21 of the first. Briere leads Buffalo with 30
Joe Thornton tied it 1-1 when he caught Martin Biron out of position and
scored with 10:25 remaining in the first. Thornton, who also assisted on
Bergeron's first goal, has three goals and four assists in six games.
Boston missed an opportunity to get even late in the first period when Mike
Knuble's goal was disallowed because he knocked the puck in with a high stick.
Knuble assisted on the game-tying goal and has six points in five games for
The Sabres were 0-4 on the power play and Boston has killed off 59 of its
last 61 short-handed situations.