By JOHN WAWROW, Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Derek Roy scored the decisive shootout goal in lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
Ryan Miller made 35 saves through regulation and stopped three of four shootout attempts in helping the Sabres improve to 3-0-1 in their past four games. Andrej Sekera scored for the Sabres, who are 8-3-2 in their past 13 games.
Zdeno Chara scored the tying goal 3:36 into the third period as the Bruins salvaged a point. Coming off a 4-2 win at St. Louis on Wednesday, Boston dropped to 8-9-2 in its past 19 games, a stretch in which it has failed to win consecutive games.
After Boston's David Krejci and Buffalo's Thomas Vanek traded shootout goals, Roy put the Sabres ahead by driving to the net and lifting a backhander that tipped off the glove of Tuukka Rask, but had enough momentum to drop in behind the goalie.
Benoit Pouliot had a chance to tie it, but missed the net on Boston's final shootout attempt.
Boston lost despite out-shooting the Sabres 36-28 overall, and 15-5 in the third period. Also, the Bruins played a penalty-free game for the first time since a 2-2 tie at the New York Islanders on Jan. 27, 2004.
The Bruins have been having difficulty generating much offense over the past three weeks, in which they've been outscored 30-18 in regulation over their past 11 games, and shut out four times. That included Miller's 36-save outing in a 6-0 loss at Buffalo on Feb. 8.
It doesn't help that they continue to play without forwards Nathan Horton (concussion) and Rich Peverley (sprained knee), who have combined for 26 goals and 70 points. Vanek had a chance to seal the win 2:15 into overtime when Roy set him up to the right of the net, and Rask out of position. Kicking the puck up to his skate, Vanek tried to stuff it in the open side, only to have Chara block it with an out-reached stick.
Sekera opened the scoring with 5:15 left in the second period, on a great set up by Tyler Ennis. Ville Leino started the play by dumping the puck in along the left boards. Ennis drove in behind the net and secured the loose puck before coming out the right side and feeding Sekera in the right circle, from where he snapped a shot just inside the left post.
Chara tied the game with a power-play goal. After having his initial shot blocked, he stopped Roy's weak clearing attempt and the right point, and slapped a hard riser that sailed over Miller's left shoulder.
It was only Boston's third power-play goal in 25 chances over the past 11 games.
The Sabres had a scoring chance in the opening minute, when Vanek threaded a pass through the middle, which Roy tipped toward the net. The puck caromed off Chara's skate and then hugged the goal line before Rask pushed it away.
Later in the period, Chara had Miller beat with a hard shot from the left point, only to have the puck strike the crossbar.
Miller was sharp, too. His best save came a minute into the second period, when Paul Gaustad's errant pass inside the blue line led to Boston's Tyler Seguin breaking in alone up the middle. Seguin snapped a shot from 10 feet only to have Miller get a piece of it and deflect it wide.
Miller also had to be careful in stabbing a bouncing shot from Seguin that went through a crowd with 2:50 left in the second period.
Rask has struggled, giving up 20 goals in going 0-4-1 in his previous five starts.
Notes: Bruins C Brad Marchand was booed by Sabres fans each time he touched the puck, a day after he referred to Buffalo as "the worst place in the NHL," during an interview on a Boston radio station. ... The Sabres recalled F Corey Tropp from AHL Rochester earlier in the day to fill in for RW Brad Boyes, who did not play because of an upper-body injury. ... After completing a stretch of playing eight of nine games at Buffalo, the Sabres hit the road for a five-game swing that opens at the New York Rangers on Saturday. ... The Bruins are in the midst of a six-game road trip that concludes at Ottawa on Saturday.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.