By Danny Picard
BOSTON -- It was the clunk, not the ting.
That sound allowed Mark Recchi to make the call himself with 2:49 remaining in overtime on Tuesday night at the TD Garden. As soon as Dennis Seidenberg's shot re-directed off some part of the Buffalo net, the veteran winger pointed towards the ref as if to say Seidenberg's slapper on the 4-on-3 power play went in.
Seidenberg stepped into the high slot and let go a shot that appeared to hit either the crossbar or the inside padding under the crossbar. The Bruins thought it was the latter. The on-ice official behind the net thought it was the former, and made no call. Play continued for nearly another minute until Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller covered the puck up for a stoppage.
Replays showed Seidenberg's shot hit the padding underneath the crossbar, giving the Bruins a 3-2 overtime win.
Bruins players began to celebrate before the on-ice officials even made the call. They saw the replay on the TD Garden jumbotron. But it's something they didn't even need to see. Everyone had a feeling it was a goal.
"We all knew on the ice that it was in," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara after the win. "I think all those guys who were on the ice knew."
"I thought it went in," said Seidenberg. "I wasn't sure, but I thought it went in. I was just hoping for a quick whistle so they could check it."
Even those on the bench had a similar feeling.
"From the bench, I saw the mesh go up," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "But you don't know if it's the stick that hits it, or whatever, and we saw Recchi kind of signaling a goal. I just asked upstairs, through assistant coach Geoff Ward, whether it was a goal or not, as the play was going on. And we were told that it was."
Some judged the puck's fate by its sound.
"I knew it went in," said Recchi. "You could hear the clunk. It wasn't the ting, the crossbar sound. It was underneath.
"You've got to keep going," added Recchi. "I mean, you think it went in. I heard the thud, and I knew it was in, but you've got to keep playing."
The Bruins kept playing and kept the pressure on during their four-minute power play, which was caused by a Luke Adam's high stick on Marc Savard that drew blood.
And while the goal was originally given to Seidenberg, it was quickly changed and credited to Recchi, his sixth of the season. Recchi was screening Miller out front, and got a piece of Seidenberg's shot with his hand, re-directing it upstairs.
"It just hit me, really, I mean, I was just trying to get a good screen for Seidenberg," said Recchi. "It was a great shot by him, and it was a good PP. It was a good 4-on-3, we really did a good job."
Seidenberg's shot from the point was an example of the Bruins' defensemen creating offense, a little bit better than they have been all season. The only current Bruins defensemen with a goal are Seidenberg (1) and Chara (4).
Seidenberg's ability to quickly set up for a blast in the high slot is exactly what the B's are looking for more of.
"I think it's coming around, and what we're doing better, and what you saw Dennis Seidenberg do well, is he got himself in a shooting lane, so when David Krejci gave him that pass, he had a shooting lane, and he just let it rip," said Julien. "That was the biggest thing earlier on. I think we were getting the puck and by the time we were teeing it up to shoot, they had a player lined up in that shooting lane. So we're doing a better job of getting to open lanes here, and getting those shots through. I think that's a big key for our D to help us create some offense."
Even if the goals don't immediately count.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard