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Bruins visit Sabres with faint hopes for Presidents' Trophy

By Kate Hedlin

Stats Writer

Boston (52-18-10) at Buffalo (40-32-9), 4:00 p.m. EDT

BUFFALO, New York (AP) -- The Boston Bruins won't have to worry

about their struggles in Buffalo during the postseason, but a

win there on Saturday will be necessary to have any chance at

the Presidents' Trophy.

With two games remaining, the Bruins look to snap a three-game

road losing streak to a Sabres team which recently was

eliminated from playoff contention.

Boston (52-18-10) has wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern

Conference and appears to be going into the playoffs with plenty

of momentum, having won seven of eight while holding opponents

to 2.3 goals per game.

The only thing left for the Bruins to potentially accomplish

during the regular season is capturing their first Presidents'

Trophy since 1989-90 and home-ice advantage throughout the

playoffs. For that to happen, San Jose must lose Saturday

afternoon in Los Angeles while Boston wins its final two games.

The Bruins stayed alive in that race Thursday, beating Montreal,

5-4, in overtime before the Sharks lost to Phoenix later in the


Mark Recchi scored once in regulation and then 2:42 into

overtime while also adding two assists. Tim Thomas stopped 39

shots to record his fifth straight win despite giving up three

consecutive power-play goals in the third period following

Boston penalties for retaliation or roughing.

"When we do lose our cool and let our emotions get the best of

us, we let them get those goals and grab the lead," Bruins

forward Milan Lucic said.

Before closing the season Sunday on the road against the New

York Islanders, the Bruins look to get their first win in three

visits to Buffalo this season. They've lost three straight and

11 of 14 there, getting outscored, 21-5, on the power play.

Despite being out of the playoff chase, the Sabres (40-32-9)

join Southeast Division champion Washington as the only teams to

beat Boston three times this season. Buffalo has a 3-2-0 lead

in the season series, holding the high-scoring Bruins to two

goals in each victory.

Plus, the Sabres have played well recently with wins in six of

their last nine, including two straight.

Buffalo is coming off a 5-1 victory over Carolina on Thursday -

a game that ended just before the New York Rangers' 2-1 win over

Philadelphia eliminated the Sabres from postseason contention.

Ryan Miller lost his shutout bid with 28 seconds remaining but

said missing out on that "wasn't as disappointing as losing the

whole season in five minutes."

Jason Pominville scored twice as Buffalo snapped Carolina's

nine-game winning streak.

"You get (the opportunities), and I think that makes a

difference," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We've had those

opportunities in the past and haven't cashed in. But you get

them, and you get them on the road, and you get a team down. We

got the bounces tonight."

Miller is 14-5-4 with a 2.68 goals-against average versus

Boston, including 10-1-2 with a 2.11 GAA at home and wins in

both meetings at HSBC Arena this season.

Bruins winger Phil Kessel has a point in all five meetings with

Buffalo, scoring four goals, and he's been hot lately with six

goals and two assists in his last seven games. He's scored in

the Bruins' last two contests after missing five with an

undisclosed injury.



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