WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Boston Bruins have been able to come from behind, and now they have the lead in their first-round playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Bruins took a 2-1 lead over the Sabres in the best-of-seven series by winning two straight despite allowing the first goal in all three games.

“Obviously we want to have a better start than we’ve had the first three games,” defenseman Matt Hunwick said. “But there’s no panic if we do go down a goal or two.

“We know if we stick to our game plan and keep plugging away a bit, we’re going to have opportunities and eventually we’ll score.”
Game 4 will be tonight in Boston.

“We win that game, we’re back in our own building with momentum,” Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff said.

The Bruins improved to 6-3 this season against Buffalo, which had 100 points to win the Northeast Division and earn a No. 3 seed in the playoffs.

But on Monday night, Dennis Wideman scored, then assisted on Patrice Bergeron’s winner to help sixth-seeded Boston rally from another 1-0 deficit.

“Although we’ve been scored on first every game, we’ve stuck with our game plan. We haven’t panicked, we’ve played well and we’ve gotten ourselves back in the game,” Bruins Coach Claude Julien said.

“It’s certainly not the situation we want to be in.”

The offense-challenged Bruins – they scored the second-fewest goals in the league this year and the fewest of any playoff team – have been able to stay in games thanks to their goaltending.

Tuukka Rask, who won the starting job from Tim Thomas, the U.S. Olympic backup, has allowed 14 goals in 10 games since March 27, losing just twice in regulation.

That’s allowed the Bruins to stay with Buffalo, which has the U.S. Olympic starter, Ryan Miller, in net and was expected to have the goaltending advantage.

“There are a few goalies in this league that you know are going to keep their team in it every night and he’s one of them. There’s no sense getting frustrated at all,” said Bruins forward Mark Recchi, who made the pass that set up Bergeron’s winner.

“We’re making mistakes and we have Tuukka making huge saves for us. We’ve been in these close games for a long stretch now, and have been playing playoff hockey for over a month.”

Buffalo struggled to make up for the loss of its top scorer, Thomas Vanek, who had 28 goals in the regular season.

He left Game 2, a 5-3 Boston victory, with an undisclosed injury and didn’t play on Monday night.

Jochen Hecht, who had 21 goals, is expected to miss two weeks after pinkie surgery.

“I think with the personnel we’re missing, we’re going to struggle offensively,” said Ruff, whose team is 0 of 3 on power plays in the series. “There ween’t a lot of quality chances for either team. High-quality chances come off of mistakes so it’s going to be tough.”

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