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Hamilton, Svedberg lift Bruins past Sabres

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- Buffalo may not be Dougie Hamilton's hometown, but the way he plays at First Niagara Center makes it seem otherwise.

Hamilton had a goal and an assist and Niklas Svedberg made 32 saves for his first career shutout to lead the Boston Bruins to a 4-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Hamilton got the scoring started at 9:56 of the first period with his first goal of the season. The 21-year-old defenseman took a pass from Patrice Bergeron and fired a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that got past Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth, who was screened.

Hamilton is plus-6 with three goals and two assists in six career games in Buffalo.

"Dougie always seems to play well here in Buffalo," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "At the same time that's what he needs is the confidence. It was good. You can see him coming around a little bit. Like I said, he had a great camp and just struggled a little bit out of the gate. It's just a matter of time for guys like him to find his game and be the player that we know he can be. It was a good example of that tonight for sure."

Hamilton's assist came on a goal by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara that made it 2-0 with 6:29 left in the first period. The Bruins kept the Sabres pinned in their own end and Hamilton passed to Brad Marchand, who set up Chara for a slap shot that beat Enroth over his left shoulder. It was Chara's second goal.

"We talked about that," Julien said. "Reilly Smith, on the first two goals, is a guy doing a great job. We scored three with a great net presence. We scored another one without needing to get our nose dirty in front of the net; [Carl Soderberg] was able to put that in. And we missed a lot of chances too that were great opportunities. Overall the guys did what we asked them to do to win hockey games."

The Bruins made it 3-0 with 8:20 to play in the second period when Torey Krug scored his first goal of the season. David Krejci won a faceoff straight back to Krug, who fired a wrist shot from the point past Enroth. Krejci drove to the front of the net after winning the draw and set a screen on Enroth.

Each of the Bruins' first three goals came with traffic in front of Enroth.

"It's something that you don't see very often but again when you have good traffic and guys are driving to the net and staying in front of the net, it makes it hard on the goalies to see the puck and creates a lot of good things offensively," Chara said. "That's how I think we scored those three goals. ... It's not going to happen if you're not going to have willingness staying in front, but it's a great job by the forwards."

Soderberg gave the Bruins a 4-0 lead with 5:12 remaining in the second period. His second goal came when he put a backhand shot over a sprawling Enroth after taking a feed from behind the net from Chris Kelly.

Svedberg earned his first NHL shutout in his third career start. He's in his first season as Tuukka Rask's backup.

"He's been good," Julien said. "He came in the other night cold and had to make some saves, and the first game he played as well. We are pretty happy with the way he's handled himself. In his first game that he lost, he was really good as well. It's tough to get that goal with half a second left (in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday), and we know it wasn't his fault. I've been pretty happy."

Enroth made 32 saves. Buffalo's power play went 0-for-7 in the game and is 0-for-22 this season.

"When your confidence isn't very high and you're down 2-0, it's tough to get out of it," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We felt sorry for ourselves in that second period again. When you do that, it's going to be long nights."

Following the Sabres' 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday, it's the first time they have been shut out in consecutive games since Oct. 9, 2003, against the Philadelphia Flyers and Oct. 11, 2003, vs. the New York Islanders.

"The one thing about scoring, it's like the weather; sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not," Nolan said. "It's bad. Right now, it's bad."

According to Elias Sports Bureau, it's the second time in Sabres history they have been shut out in consecutive home games. The last time it happened came Feb. 17, 1972, against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Feb. 20, 1972, vs. the Montreal Canadiens.

"The coaches are drawing up plays. We're getting chances. That's working," forward Cody Hodgson said. "We're getting shots on net. At least we're competing and battling and getting to the net. That's the difference between winning and losing right now, banging a couple in."

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller left the game after he sustained an upper-body at 7:55 of the first period and did not return.

"I don't know exactly what the injury is, so I will refrain from saying anything," Julien said.

The Bruins finished 2-1-0 on their three-game road trip. They host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

"We wanted for sure to put those games behind and really focus and be better these three games on the road," Chara said. "A tough result obviously in Montreal, but I think we can build on being 2-1 this week on the road. It's something we can build on and now we have to stay focused and play strong in the games we have at home."

The Sabres begin a four-game road trip Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

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