Krejci nets 2 to help B's upset Sabres

The Boston Bruins pulled off the 2nd upset in the Eastern Conference Quarters tonight, stunning the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres with a 4-3 win at home in the TD Garden and setting up a potential matchup with either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Philadelphia Flyers. Tuuka Rask made 30 saves and David Krejci had two goals and an assist on the night as the Bruins took full advantage of the chance to eliminate the Sabres on home ice.

Krejci got his first goal midway through the first period, redirecting a pass from Mark Recchi through traffic and past Ryan Miller to put the Bruins on the board first. He then returned the favor early in the 2nd period, feeding Recchi at the back post with a beautiful slap pass that the veteran winger buried in the back of the net. Boston nearly let the Sabres back into the game a few inutes later when Dennis Wideman gave the puck away in his own zone, leading to a goal from Patrick Kaleta that drew Buffalo within a single goal. Mark Recchi>

Krejci restored the B’s two goal lead early in the 3rd, planting himself in front of the net and flipping in a shot over Miller. Rookie Nathan Gerbe answered for the Sabres twenty seconds later with his first career playoff goal, beating Rask with a quick wrister to pull Buffalo back within a goal with plenty of time left. Veteran winger Miroslav Satan put the B’s up for good, though, sneaking in on the weak side and finding a loose puck that squirted through Miller’s crease and tapping it in to give Boston some extra cushion. Good thing he did, too, because with less than two minutes left in the game, Buffalo sniper Thomas Vanek wired a one timer over Rask to pull the Sabres back within striking distance, and Satan’s goal ended up standing as the game winner.

In a series where both Rask and Miller played very well, this game was no exception, with both teams having to work for the goals they got. Rask finished the game with 27 saves, Miller with 28, but it was Rask’s surprisingly solid performance that was one of the biggest reasons the Bruins were able to pull off this upset. Two stellar performances on home ice in Boston in Games 3 and 4 put the Bruins in a great position to win the series, and they didn’t waste the valuable opportunity they were given. Rask’s next task will pit him against a team with much more prolific scorers than Buffalo had in their arsenal, so he’ll have to continue to be at the top of his game if the Bruins want to get any further.

Len robinson
Sports Pundit member

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