BOSTON (AP) – J.P. Dumont deflected Teppo Numminen’s shot into the net to break a third-period tie Thursday night and the Buffalo Sabres scored two power-play goals to snap an 0-for-27 slump and beat the Boston Bruins 4-3.

Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots for the Sabres, and Ales Kotalik scored with 6:12 left to make it 4-2. Boston pulled within one just 25 seconds later when Glen Murray deflected Nick Boynton’s shot into the net.

But the Bruins never came close to tying it, failing to mount a threat even after pulling goalie Hannu Toivonen in the final half-minute. Toivonen made 33 saves for the Bruins, and captain Joe Thornton returned after three games with a strained back. But Boston has lost both home games this season and is 0-5 in the Northeast Division.

The Bruins played just their second home game after returning from a six-game road trip. They held an extra “Fan Appreciation Night” to reward supporters who stayed with the team despite the lockout that canceled all of last season.

In a ceremony usually held at the last home game of the season, the players gave their game sweaters to fans. Another fan won a car; the rest of the crowd had to settle for a sign that said, “Thank You Fans!” painted on the ice in bold blue letters.

But Bruins fans didn’t get what they were hoping for – a win.

Dumont also had an assist, and Kotalik and Tim Connolly had a goal and an assist apiece. Daniel Briere scored his fifth goal of the season – his fourth in the past three games – on a first-period power play; the Sabres had failed to score on 25 power-play chances coming into the game and their first two tries on Thursday. Boston has allowed six power-play goals in three games. Briere made it 1-0 5:05 into the game, but Sergei Samsonov slapped in a rebound to tie it for the Bruins just 10 seconds into a power play of their own. Kevin Dallman got an assist – his first NHL point – and Thornton also assisted on the goal.

P.J. Axelsson gave Boston a 2-1 lead 42 seconds into the second period when he beat Miller on a nice crossing pass from Hal Gill. Connolly tied it after some nice passing left him alone on the left side of the net with 6:41 to play.


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