BOSTON – The way Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres are closing out games could make them extremely tough to face a few weeks from now.

Tyler Myers had a goal and set up Paul Gaustad’s score to lift the surging Sabres to their sixth win in seven games, 3-2 over the Boston Bruins on Monday night.

Miller made 40 saves, including Marco Sturm’s penalty shot in the first period and Mark Recchi’s shot from the edge of the crease as the final horn sounded, winning a matchup of last month’s USA Olympic goaltenders.

Tim Kennedy also scored for Buffalo, which moved one point behind Pittsburgh for second overall in the Eastern Conference.

The Sabres improved to 27-0-0 when leading after two periods, but had to hold on after Dennis Seidenberg scored to make it 3-2 with 5:37 to play.

“It was really big for us, especially with the spot they’re in and the desperation they have,” Myers. “It was a huge road win for us. As a team right now, we’re focused on moving forward.”

David Krejci had Boston’s other goal. The Bruins, who remained in eighth place in the East after Carolina defeated Atlanta 4-1, lost for the third time seven games.

For the goal-starved Bruins, tied for last in the league in scoring, getting behind 3-1 early was just too much to overcome.

“We had an opportunity to get back in the game, but the goaltender made some good saves at some opportune times,” Boston Coach Claude Julien said.

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, Miller’s backup at the Vancouver Games, was pulled following the Sabres’ third goal and left the ice to jeers. He was making his second straight start after shutting out Calgary on Saturday.

“The fact that I was leaving the ice? I don’t know what they were booing,” said Thomas, who agreed it was his most frustrating time since coming into the NHL late in 2003 season.

“You don’t like to see it,” Miller said of the boos toward Thomas. “We are competitive to a certain degree, but I know he’s a little bit frustrated. I didn’t think there was a whole lot he could do on at least two of those goals.”

The Bruins grabbed a 1-0 lead when Krejci made a nifty move by faking to go behind the net from the right side before tucking a shot inside the post, beating Miller at 7:43 of the first.

Myers’ goal tied it 2:13 later. He stole a clearing pass and fired a high shot that hit defenseman Dennis Wideman’s arm and caromed past Thomas.

The Sabres made it 2-1 less than two minutes later when Gaustad scored on a backhand from in close off a rebound.

Kennedy completed a two-on-one break when he slipped a shot under Thomas’ left pad 6:08 into the second period.


NOTES: Three players called up by Buffalo from the Portland Pirates played but did not score. Mark Mancari, Portland’s leading scorer, and Nathan Gerbe were called up Sunday, and Tyler Ennis, the Pirates’ second-leading scorer, got called up Saturday. Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta had surgery to repair a thumb injury and is expected to miss the final two weeks of the regular season. Kaleta has 10 goals and five assists in 54 games this season.


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