The Boston Bruins are hoping they picked up a little momentum in their quest for a spot in the postseason.
|Phil Kessel beat Ryan Miller for a shootout winner Friday night. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
The Bruins try to build on an encouraging come-from-behind win on Saturday when they host the Florida Panthers.
Boston (28-21-5) won 3-2 in a shootout at Buffalo on Friday night, bouncing back from consecutive home losses. The Bruins outshot the Sabres 37-23, but appeared headed for their third straight defeat when they entered the third period trailing 2-0.
However, Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm both scored to tie the game, and Phil Kessel netted the lone shootout goal, helping the Bruins improve to 2-17-1 when trailing after two periods.
"There's no doubt, this is great for the confidence," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "We're a team that after two periods down haven't had much success. This is a great boost."
With the win, the Bruins jumped past the idle New York Rangers into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They also got back Glen Murray, who missed 19 games with a hip injury but provided a screen on Chara's goal in his return to the ice.
Murray, who has 10 goals and nine assists in 34 games this season, has five goals in his last four games against the Panthers.
Still, the Bruins will need to work on special teams if they hope to improve their playoff chances. They went 0-for-4 on the power play and are 0-for-15 with the man advantage over their last four games, while yielding one power-play goal in each of those contests.
"I didn't think we were playing bad for the whole game. There was only one thing missing, and that was the finish," Julien said. "I guess you eventually get rewarded for staying with it, which is what I think Phil Kessel did."
The Bruins have lost five of their last eight home games, as well as three straight home meetings with the Panthers. However, they won 4-3 at Florida in their last meeting with the Panthers (25-26-5) on Nov. 29, ending a six-game losing streak in the series.
The Panthers lost 5-4 at Ottawa on Thursday, ending a three-game winning streak. David Booth, Nathan Horton, Brett McLean and Olli Jokinen scored for the Panthers, who were coming off an 8-0 win in Toronto two nights earlier.
Florida has scored 19 goals in its last four games.
"We played a real strong first period, I thought the way we should play against them, and in the second period we opened it up and they've got people that are going to capitalize on mistakes," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said.
"When you look at the penalties we took, it hurt us and they took advantage and capitalized on it. It's tough and that was the difference in the hockey game really."
The Panthers are looking for their third win in the first four games of a five-game road trip. They are 12-6-0 in their last 18 games away from home after starting the season 2-8-1 on the road.