After a mediocre start to the season, the Boston Bruins need every point they can get to avoid falling behind in the marathon battle for a playoff spot. They endured a back-and-forth contest against the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night, but in the end the Bruins earned an important 4-3 overtime victory.
Buffalo was close to winning 3-2 when Dougie Hamilton gave the Bruins another chance with his second goal of the night at 18:29 of the third period:
In overtime, Milan Lucic passed the puck to Loui Eriksson as he entered the Sabres’ zone. With Buffalo’s defense split, Eriksson charged at Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth before shoveling it into the back of the net.
“I think it was a gut check… and I credit the guys for battling,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of the win, per the Bruins’ Twitter feed. He added, “Wins are tough to come by these days, so when you get ’em, you take ’em.”
At 17-14-3, Boston is just a point shy of Washington, which holds the second Wild Card spot. However, the Capitals have played in two less games. Meanwhile, Buffalo has now lost three straight contests as its stretch of 10 wins in 12 games slowly fades into the distance.
“We got stronger as the game went on,” Ted Nolan said, per the Sabres Twitter feed. “You couldn’t not be happy with the effort, only thing disappointed with is the outcome.”