BOSTON (AP) — Dennis Wideman broke a tie early in the third period, giving Boston a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night and solidifying the Bruins’ position in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
With the win, Boston moved out of eighth place in the East and passed Philadelphia to tie for sixth with Montreal, a 5-2 loser Thursday night in Carolina.
Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots for the Bruins. Miroslav Satan also scored, and Zdeno Chara made it 3-1 on slap shot with 3:25 left. The Bruins had not scored more than two goals in a game in almost two weeks.
Patrick Lalime, who played with the flu so No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller could rest up for the playoffs, made 31 saves for the Sabres. Derek Roy scored for Buffalo, which clinched the Northeast Division title Tuesday night.
In addition to Miller, the Sabres were without leading scorer Tim Connolly, who has a foot injury, No. 4 scored Thomas Vanek, who has an unspecified injury, and defenseman Craig Rivet, who has the flu.
Roy gave Buffalo the lead 11 minutes in thanks to a turnover from Wideman that left the hometown crowd booing when he touched the puck. Satan tied it with 2:15 left in the first period when he skated in on goal and stickhandled it in through traffic in front of the net before backhanding it past Lalime.
Wideman scored to give Boston the lead 1:59 into third, wristing it into the net.
NOTES: The Bruins handed out the following awards before the game: Mark Recchi, the Eddie Shore Award for hustle and determination; Patrice Bergeron, the Elizabeth C. Dufresne Award for outstanding performance at home games; Shawn Thornton, the John Bucyk Award for community service; and the Three Stars Award to Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask. … Roy has 20 points in his last 18 games. … Vladimir Sobotka assisted on Wideman’s goal — his first point in eight games. .. Chara played with a facemask to protect his broken nose. … The Bruins have not scored a power-play goal in six games since scoring three against Calgary on March 27. … Miller and Boston’s Tim Thomas were the goalies for the U.S. Olympic team. Thomas, the backup in Vancouver, has since been relegated to backup for the Bruins.