<
>

Boston unbeaten in last seven

1/15/2004

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Felix Potvin made the most of a rare start,
helping the Boston Bruins extend their winning streak.

Potvin stopped 27 shots for his 31st career shutout and Boston
beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 Thursday night for its fifth
consecutive victory.

Sergei Samsonov scored in the second period for the Bruins,
unbeaten in seven games overall (6-0-1-0).

"We have to keep winning," Potvin said. "It seems like every
team in the East is winning. You have to keep trying to climb the
standings."

Samsonov scored his ninth goal with 4:33 remaining in the second
period. Joe Thornton recovered a loose puck in the corner and swung
around to the slot, where he fed Glen Murray.

Murray's one-timer was stopped by Buffalo goalie Mika Noronen,
but Samsonov tucked in the rebound.

Thornton extended his point streak to seven games. Samsonov has
a point in five of seven games since returning from a knee injury.

"We're trying to get away from scoring pretty goals," said
Samsonov, who also had the game-winner in Monday's 4-3 victory over
Buffalo. "We're trying to work hard and get the dirty ones. Things
are going our way so far."

Potvin kept his shutout intact with 12 third-period saves. Five
minutes into the third, he made consecutive saves in traffic,
stopping Jason Botterill from the slot and foiling Ales Kotalik on
the rebound while sprawled on the ice.

"I played the way I usually play," said Potvin, who last saw
action in a tie against the New York Islanders on Jan. 3. "I want
to play all the time. It's been tough this year."

The Bruins got their first shutout in Buffalo since April 4,
1993.

"There are about seven or eight teams all within eight to 10
points of each other," Sabres defenseman James Patrick said. "You
can't let those points get away."

Noronen made 24 saves for Buffalo, which had its home unbeaten
streak stopped at seven games.

"It may have been different if we were able to get that first
goal," Buffalo center Curtis Brown said. "We had our chances, but
we weren't able to capitalize on them."

Buffalo came closest to scoring in the game's first minute, when
Daniel Briere hit the post.

"We didn't make enough plays to win the hockey game," Buffalo
coach Lindy Ruff said.

Boston last had a five-game winning streak in November 2002. On
Saturday night in Ottawa, the Bruins will go for a sixth straight
win, something they haven't accomplished since March 2002.

"We want to ride this as long as we can," coach Mike Sullivan
said. "This is an important stretch in our schedule. Teams are
scratching and clawing to get every point they can."

Game notes
Buffalo was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Boston was
0-for-1. The Bruins extended their string of successful penalty
kills to 20 over six games. ... Bruins F Carl Corazzini made his
NHL debut. He led Providence of the AHL with 12 goals when he was
recalled Wednesday, and had a league-high four short-handed goals.
... Buffalo scratches included RW Maxim Afinogenov and D Jay McKee.
Afinogenov has a hip flexor and McKee a knee injury. Both are
day-to-day. ... Boston played without RW Sandy McCarthy (jaw) and C
Travis Green (rib).rib