BOSTON (AP) — Alex Tuch scored his second goal of the game in overtime, and the Buffalo Sabres rallied for a 4-3 victory over the NHL-best Boston Bruins on Saturday for their sixth straight win.
“We came in here and I thought a lot of guys really showed up and worked really hard,” Tuch said. “We’re finding examples where we allow skill to take over. We got a little lucky, but we’ll take it.”
Tage Thompson scored his team-leading 27th goal and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 37 shots for the Sabres, who won for just the second time in their last 11 games against the Bruins.
“Everybody knows how good they’ve been at home,” Luukkonen said in a joyful and loud Sabres’ locker room. “I feel like guys are really confident now and it shows.”
Trailing 3-2 and skating with an extra attacker after pulling its goalie, Buffalo tied it when Dylan Cozens slipped a wrister past Jeremy Swayman with 1:37 to play.
Tuch slipped a shot past Swayman from the slot for the game-winner.
“It was relieving,” Tuch said. “I was a little tired. A couple of long shifts.”
Boston’s Brad Marchand had scored the go-ahead goal on a clean breakaway after setting up Patrice Bergeron’s tying score just over five minutes into the third period.
Boston failed to add to its lead with a 5-on-3 power play late in the game.
“In that situation, with time on the clock and the amount of time we have on the 5-on-3, I think we have to extend the lead there,” Bergeron said.
Tuch skated in on a breakaway and slipped a wrister inside the left post to put the Sabres ahead 2-1 early in the second period.
David Pastrnak added his 25th goal and Swayman made 21 saves for the Bruins, who remained unbeaten in regulation at home at 18-0-3.
Bruins coach Jim Montgomery didn’t hesitate when asked if he was worried about his team looking ahead to the Winter Classic matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park on Monday.
“Usually I’d be very concerned about that, but not with this group,” he said. “They are very, very professional. We just talked about the importance of our keys to having success against the Sabres, who are a very, very dangerous offensive team.”
SPLENDID EARLY STOPS
Swayman made a left-arm save on Peyton Krebs’ breakaway early in the first period after Luukkonen went sprawling to make a left-pad stop on Nick Foligino’s shot.
NOTES: Thompson has a team-leading 51 points. … Boston won the first meeting between the teams, 3-1, in Buffalo on Nov. 12. … Bruins forward Tomas Nosek missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury, but Montgomery said beforehand that “he’s doing better. Do expect him to play in the Classic.”
The Sabres conclude a New Year’s back-to-back in Ottawa on Sunday night.