Benoit Pouliot scored the lone goal in the second round of the shootout, giving the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres for their 10th consecutive victory on Wednesday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
Pouliot's tally came after phenomenal goaltending from Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas (31 saves) and Sabres netminder Jhonas Enroth (36 saves). Boston (13-7-0) outshout Buffalo (12-8-1), 39-34, and won 40-of-71 faceoffs in the victory.
Boston now sits on top of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference with 26 points. Toronto (12-8-2) also has 26 points, but because the Bruins have played two less games, they are in front, completing the worst-to-first scenario.
The night started out with a short fight between Milan Lucic and Paul Gaustad, which Lucic won with relative ease. Gaustad dropped the gloves immediately after the faceoff in retaliation for Lucic's leveling hit on Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.
However, the Bruins couldn't maintain the intensity, surrendering two first period goals. Christian Ehrhoff scored his second goal of the season on assists from Drew Stafford and Marc-Andre Gragnani at 11:56 of the opening period. Thomas Vanek netted his 12th goal at 15:22 on an assist from Jason Pominville. Both goals were scored on power plays.
Tyler Seguin set his career-high in goals with his 12th score of the season (assisted by Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley), at 3:37 of the second period to cut Buffalo's lead in half. T.J. Brennan, playing in his first career NHL game, scored (assists from Derek Roy and Gragnani) at 11:02 to rebuild the Sabres lead to two goals. Brad Marchand potted his seventh goal of the campaign with four minutes left in the period, assisted by Bergeron and Seguin.
Zdeno Chara scored his third goal on a power play at 3:35 of the third period, tying the game.
In the shootout, Thomas stopped Vanek on the first attempt while Seguin couldn't put one past Enroth. Peverley and David Krejci missed on their attempts for Boston while Nathan Gerbe and Pominville missed for Buffalo. Roy missed in the first attempt of the second round, as did Bergeron. Thomas stopped Staffords shot before Pouliot won the game.
Boston is off until Friday, when it returns home to host the Detroit Red Wings.