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Bruins tie series 1-1 with 5-3 win over Sabres

Patrice Bergeron, Marco Sturm, Mark Recchi

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, right, is congratulated after his overtime goal by Bruins left winger Marco Sturm, of Germany and Bruins right winger Mark Recchi, left, in the NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Boston won 2-1. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)


Boston Bruins 5, Buffalo Sabres 3; Series tied 1-1

Well, that was an odd one, wasn’t it? The Boston Bruins took NBC’s first 2010 playoff game this afternoon 5-3 in a game that may come back to haunt the Buffalo Sabres. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a leisurely stroll through Limp Offense Park for the Sabres. While the Bruins seemingly tripped over their own feet, Buffalo took what looked like a commanding 2-0 lead in the first period (after all, the last game ended 2-1 right?). The scope of the game seemed to change in the second period when Ryan Miller allowed a pop-up goal. Soon after, the game was suddenly 2-2 while the Sabres went from red-hot to eerily blank.

That being said, the Sabres went up 3-2 at the end of the second period, prompting everyone (myself included) to reference their death grip on late leads. Still, the oddness remained in the air from the second period. The Bruins scored two goals in exactly two (hockey) minutes to take a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.

Ultimately, the Bruins scored an empty net goal to complete their 5-1 run during the second and third periods. Now, it’s worth noting that losing home ice advantage as you go into Boston is less imposing than one might think; after all, the Bruins finished a paltry 18-17-6 in Beantown during the regular season. That being said, the Sabres could be without their leading goal scorer Tomas Vanek, who left today’s game after crashing into the boards. Two tough losses in one bad afternoon for Buffalo.

Who knows, this might just be a rare slip-up in a feel-good journey for Miller and Co. My guess is that whether this series ends in 5, 6 or 7, the Bruins won’t make things easy, though. Remember: this is the playoffs. Anything can happen. The Bruins can even play in a wild, semi-high scoring game.