Final

Boston won 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Boston won 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, April 15th
Bruins1Final
Sabres2
Game 2: Saturday, April 17th
Bruins5Final
Sabres3
Game 3: Monday, April 19th
Sabres1Final
Bruins2
Game 4: Wednesday, April 21st
Sabres2Final
2OT
Bruins3
Game 5: Friday, April 23rd
Bruins1Final
Sabres4
Game 6: Monday, April 26th
Sabres3Final
Bruins4

Bruins 5

 

Sabres 3

 

Coverage: NBC

1:00 PM ET, April 17, 2010

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
BOS 0 2 35
BUF 2 1 03

Z. Chara (Bruins - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Ryder (Bruins - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

T. Myers (Sabres - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Sabres squander lead after losing Vanek as Sabres even series

Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For once, Michael Ryder and the Boston Bruins avoided questions about their sputtering offense.

McDonald: Good Mistakes

Against the Sabres in Game 2 of the playoffs, mistakes brought out the best in the Bruins, writes Joe McDonald. Story

In cracking the Buffalo Sabres' third-period lockdown, Ryder and Zdeno Chara scored two minutes apart and led the Bruins to a 5-3 comeback victory on Saturday that tied the first-round, Eastern Conference playoff series at 1.

Ryder and Chara each scored two goals in a big turnaround for the Bruins, who finished 29th in the NHL in scoring during the regular season. This victory came on the heels of Boston's 39-shot output in a 2-1 loss to the Sabres on Thursday.

"It's definitely a big boost," Ryder said. "We've had struggles all year scoring goals. It's a good time for us to start finding the back of the net."

And they did it against star goalie Ryan Miller and against a team that had gone 31-0 when entering the third period with a lead this season.

Fast Facts

• Backed by two-goals apiece from Michael Ryder and Zdeno Chara and an empty-netter from Mark Recchi, the Bruins come from behind to beat the Sabres and even their series at one game apiece.

• This was the first multi-goal playoff game of Chara's career and the third for Ryder.

• Boston trailed 2-0 after 12 minutes of the first period and was down 3-2 entering the third. It was the first time all season that the Sabres lost a game when leading after two periods.

• Tuukka Rask earned his first career playoff win in his second postseason game.

• Thomas Vanek left the game in the first period and didn't return with a leg injury.

• Game 3 of the series is Monday in Boston.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"It's definitely good to get two goals in the third period and bounce back from a deficit," said Tuukka Rask, who stopped 26 shots. "I think everybody realized now that it's playoffs and we can't let down. Today we did a great job of that."

The series now shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Monday.

Buffalo might have to bounce back without leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who didn't return after hurting his lower left leg in the first period.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff wouldn't reveal the severity of the injury or whether Vanek would play Monday. Ruff would only say that he expects Vanek to travel to Boston with the team.

With or without Vanek, the Sabres are going to have to do a better job defensively, considering how thoroughly they unraveled by allowing five goals -- including Mark Recchi's empty-netter -- after building a 2-0 first-period lead.

"It's disappointing we went into the third with a lead and didn't make it hold up," said Miller, who made 26 stops. "Everything is not going to go our way."

Tyler Myers, Matt Ellis and Jason Pominville scored for the Sabres.

The Bruins ended a seven-game playoff losing streak at Buffalo. The drought spanned four series, dating to a 5-4 overtime win in the first round in 1992.

The game turned at the start of the third period with Boston trailing 3-2, after Pominville restored Buffalo's lead with 3:19 left in the second period.

Ryder tied it 5:23 into the third by capping a 4-on-2 rush, which came on the transition after Sabres center Tim Connolly failed to handle a pass in the Boston zone.

Two minutes later, Chara then pounced on Connolly's giveaway along the boards in the Sabres end. Without hesitation, Chara snapped in a shot from the left point that beat Miller, who was screened by David Krejci.

"It was a great job," Chara said, of Krejci's screen. "It wasn't a hard shot, but it was a shot that he couldn't see. He can't see it, he can't stop it."

Getting more traffic in front of Miller was the Bruins' intention after the goalie saw most of the shots he stopped Thursday.

Offensively, the Sabres looked flat and sloppy in a third period in which they managed just six shots -- and didn't get their first on Rask until 10:15 was gone.

Not having Vanek was a factor. He was hurt after he was hooked from behind by Johnny Boychuk during a partial breakaway with under 7 minutes left in the first. After getting off a backhand shot, Vanek and Boychuk both fell and slid into the end boards.

Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Sabres are the higher seed, but the Bruins won the regular season series 4-2. Who will advance from this Northeast Division showdown? Follow the matchup from day one on ESPN.com. Series page

• 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
• SportsNation: Who will win?

• ESPNBoston.com: Bruins blog

Vanek had difficulty putting weight on his left foot as he attempted to get up. He hobbled to the Sabres bench and fell to his knees as he tried to get through the gate.

Ruff wasn't happy with how Boychuk slashed Vanek across the knee twice, but didn't know if that caused the injury. Boychuk was penalized for hooking.

Miller took the loss in stride.

"It's tough. But no one said you're going to walk through the playoffs," Miller said. "The good part is they don't tell you what order you have to win. You just have to win four."

The five goals were the most the Bruins had scored since a 5-0 win over Calgary on March 27, and marked only the 18th time Boston netted at least four goal in regulation this season.

Game notes


Bruins assistant coach Craig Ramsay was back behind the bench after missing Game 1 and spending Thursday night in a Buffalo hospital because of the flu. ... The Sabres are 32-7-4 this season when scoring the first goal, including both games of this series. ... Buffalo is already missing two top forwards. Jochen Hecht will be out at least two weeks (pinkie surgery), and Drew Stafford (concussion) is day to day.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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