BOSTON (AP) — David Krejci had two goals and one assist to lead Boston to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series on Monday night and put the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots for Boston, which will play either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh in the second round.
It’s Boston’s second playoff series victory — and first at home — since 1999.
Buffalo, which missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, has not advanced since reaching the conference semifinals in 2006 and ’07.
Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist, and Miroslav Satan also scored for the Bruins.
Olympic MVP Ryan Miller made 28 saves for Buffalo. Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres, and Thomas Vanek made it 4-3 with 1:13 left after the goalie was pulled for an extra skater.
The Sabres pulled Miller with 2:25 left, trailing by two goals, and again after a faceoff at center ice with just over two minutes remaining. Vanek, who missed the previous three games with a sore left ankle, put them within one goal but they couldn’t tie it in the closing minute.
The Bruins streamed onto the ice, as did the yellow towels the team had passed out to the fans.
Buffalo was 0 for 19 on the power play in the series.
The Bruins had given up the first goal in each of the first five games, and they led for 19:40 of the first 327:41. But Boston took the lead on Monday night when Recchi’s pass was redirected behind Miller by Krejci at the 13:39 mark of the first period.
The two switched roles just 61 seconds into the second period, when Boston had a 4-on-3 advantage and set up some quick passing from Krejci to Recchi on Miller’s left. Boston took a 3-1 lead with 12:42 left in the game when Satan dug out a puck on the side and pushed it behind the net, where Lucic backhanded it in front to Krejci.
But just 22 seconds later the puck came free into the middle to Gerbe, a former Boston College star who one-timed it into the net to make it a one-goal game again. With 5 minutes left, Satan made a move to get Miller out of position but hit the post. Then just a few seconds later, he waited for a pass from Dennis Wideman at the side of the net and tucked it around Miller to make it 4-2.
NOTES: The Bruins hadn’t clinched a playoff series at home since May 2, 1999. … Vanek was the Sabres’ leading scorer in the regular season, with 25 goals and 28 assists.