BOSTON -- Time to stop talking and start playing. In the case of Cody McCormick, it's time to start hitting. Thanks to all who joined tonight's live chat. If you missed the chat, Thomas Vanek is out. I would look for him to play Friday. For our next live chat, be sure to be there at the crack of 6:30 on Friday, prior to Game Five at HSBC Arena.
The giant black-and-gold Bruins banner is being shuffled over head by the Bruins' fans through the lower bowl. That's a pretty awesome sight. Of course, on MSG, you're probably seeing Cellino and Barnes. And in SD, no less.
It's really an embrarrassment what the Sabres are doing on TV. The whole country has the game in HD thanks to Versus, except the people who care about it the most. Disgrace. HD is standard and expected by viewers. The Sabres should be doing all 82 in HD next year. That's my rant. Thanks to Versus for giving me until 7:10 to make it.
We'll be watching the lines closely after an optional morning skate. First surprise is the starting lineup with Tim Connolly on left wing. Gaustad is centering and Grier on the right. Interesting.
7:05 p.m.: The teams have yet to take the ice.
7:06 p.m: The Bruins hit the ice and the place goes beserk, with gold towels twirling over everyone's head. Waaaaay louder than HSBC, which loses a lot of volume to that high dome of a roof. The roof here is flat and low....And a lot of the volume here isn't the fans, it's the incredible volume of the music over the PA.
7:07 p.m.: Boston starters are Lucic-Bergeron-Recchi. On defense it will be Wideman and Hunwick.
7:09 p.m.: The anthem by local legend Rene Rancourt. Dude's got a set of pipes. But Vogl points out he's no Tara Minogue.
7:11 p.m.: Faceoff.
Observations: As you would expect, the building has been electric. What's interesting is that most of the fans on the sides -- especially the side behind the benches -- stood through the whole overtime (the fans on the end are sitting). It's given the game a very collegiate feel.
Bucky just came back and said he saw a NESN highlight that the score of this one is on the Green Monster at Fenway Park. The telecast showed the dude inside the wall changing the period from "4" to "5"
Stats: Game tied. Shots are 35-33 for Boston. Faceoffs are tied at 30-30. Buffalo has 21 blocks, Boston 19. Boston has a 47-43 edge in hits. This is a total splitting hairs game. Wow.
The minutes are really piling up for individuals too. Myers and Lydman lead Buffalo at 32:59 apiece. Montador, who has been terrific aside from soring a goal, clocks in at 31:41 and has a game-high six blocks. Chara has been on the ice for 34:21 to lead all players. Boychuk and Wideman are at 31:00 for Boston. Torres, Connolly and Recchi all have a game-high five shots on goal.
Multi-OT minutiae: The Sabres haven't gone double overtime since losing to Ottawa in Game Two in 2007 on Joe Corvo's bouncer past Miller from the right point. Some guy named Drury lost the faceoff that directly led to that one. Buffalo is 4-4 in multi-OT affairs (3-3 in 2-OT games). Boston is 7-8 (4-6 in 2-OT).
10:27 p.m.: The pucks drops for the fifth period. The crowd is absolutely roaring.
18:57: BRUTAL SHIFT for the Connolly line. Stuck for a minute. Bergeron just missed.
16:55: Lucic around Lydman, stopped by Miller.
15:36: This is the first multi-OT game of this year's playoffs. Love watching little Ennis pushing big Chara at a whistle.
14:51: Miller takes a shot on the collarbone from Lucic and crumbles. Ouch. He's up. Shaking it off.
14:10: TOO MANY MEN ON THE ICE ON BUFFALO. Only saw one replay but it looked like Stafford left early and tried to whirl around and get off. Ridiculous.
12:19. Satan does it to his old team on the backhand. On the power play. Absolute killer. Only shot on the PP too. BOSTON WINS, 3-2. Good night, season.
Numbers through regulation: Such an even game. Shots and score tied. Hits are 39-38 for Boston and faceoffs are 27-24 for the Bruins. ... Torres has a team-high four shots for the Sabres. Recchi leads Boston with five. ...
OT info: This is Buffalo's first OT game in the playoffs since they lost Game Five of the 2007 Eastern Conference finals on the Daniel Alfredsson goal. ... The Sabres are 4-3 in playoff overtime against Boston -- and the last one was all the way back in 1993. You might remember that one as MayDay. Buffalo is 31-25 in its history in playoff OT. Miller is 6-4. Rask has never been in one in the playoffs. Pominville and Montador (for Anaheim vs. San Jose) are the only Sabres with a playoff OT winner. No Bruin has more than one either.
9:46 p.m: The puck is dropped for OT.
18;27 left: One shot apiece.
15:43 left: Ennis makes a dangerous pass to himself at the Buffalo line, races across the line and gets tripped by Bergeron. Wow, Would this be a time for a PP goal now?
13:40 left: Connolly hits post, Miller stops Wheeler on breakaway, Stafford just high. No shots on the PP and nearly a SH goal. Jeez. And 0 for 14.
12:10 left: Miller ROBS Bergeron. Call a cop.
11:15: Rask stops Mair on an Ennis drop pass. Would have l iked Ennis to keep it.
10:49: Rask stops Connolly. Shots are 6-3 for Boston.
9:35: Two stops on Kaleta.
6:17: Not many whistles. Shots are 6-6.
5:15: Rask stops Roy.
3:48: Highway robbery by Miller on a Satan backhand wtih the glove on a dive. The goal horn even went off briefly. Sabres losing too many faceoffs in their end.
And we are going to DOUBLE overrrrtime: Shots were 10-8 for Boston. It's 35-33 for the Bruins. Much better scoring chances for the Bruins in the last 40 minutes. Miller has saved the Sabres' bacon, even though he probably hates the second Boston goal.
Of note: Montador has five blocked shots in addition to his goal. Gaustad has four hits. McCormick had all three of his in the first period. Torres has a team-high three shots on goal. Recchi has four for Boston. Boston has a 19-18 edge in faceoffs and a 29-28 edge in hits. Sabres doing a better job with the puck, as they have only six giveaways tonight after piling up 47 in the first three games.
Of note II: Looking forward to getting back to HSBC. They play non-stop music here before the game and during the intermissions and most of it is at heavy-metal volume. Even the Monkees "I'm a Believer." Jeez, take the volume down just a notch, folks. The season ticket-holders here must be deaf after a whole season of this.
8:58 p.m.: The puck is dropped.
18:23 left: Miller stones Recchi from the right circle.
18:02 left: McCormick goes for goalie interference for crashing into Rask going for an Ennis pass.
17:53 left: And the power play strikes right away. Maybe the Sabres should take notes. Faceoff win, point shot by Hunwick, rebound goal by Krejci ahead of a diving Gaustad. Boston gets within 2-1.
17:26 left: Kaleta for boarding.
15:00 left: Great work by Grier to help kill penalty.
13:20 left: And it's tied up. Jeez. Bergeron gets the goal, sweeping the puck under Miller after good work by Paille. Kind of like Crosby beating him. First really bad goal of the series against Miller and what a horrible time. Boston ties it 2-2 and the Sabres call a timeout. You've got a two-goal lead through 40 minutes and you can't crumble like this. Two goals on four shots.
12:00 left: The "Mil-ler, Mil-ler" chants have never been louder. Place is rocking.
11:00 left: Rask's best save of the series, a dive to his left to deny Grier after a great Connolly feed.
9:30 left: Sabres dominating in the Boston zone, much better since Ruff's basketball-style timeout.
8:21 left: Wheeler off the post to the left of a shaky-looking Miller.
3:30 left: Still tied. Shots are tied too at 23-23.
We are going to oooooooooovertime: Miller bailed them out in the final 40 seconds with saves on Bergeron and Paille. Shots were 9-9. Tied again. Odd. 25-25 through regulation. No way this game should be at this point. Scored first in four straight. A pair of two-goal leads. Think the next goal is big? Just a little bit. Stay tuned.
8:11 p.m.: Sorry for the delay, Harrington lost his Internet. There's 14:34 left, and Craig Rivet and Milan Lucic just dropped the gloves for a fight. It's 1-0, and Harrington will be back in a moment. John Vogl signing off.
13:25 left: A high-five to JVogl. I sent in a notebook for the print edition and got all locked up and Internet booted. Figured it all out now. Shots are 3-2 for Boston. Sabres having more trouble in their zone in this period. The best chance however was by Kennedy, who shot just wide from right in front of Rask on a big rebound off a Torres shot. Rivet held his own in mostly a clench with Lucic after McCormick started hostilities for going right at Chara with a solid push.
13:01 left: 2-0, Buffalo. Montador fires from the right point and it gets through Rask after it got through Krejci and hits Wideman's stick in fronti. Great play by Gaustad to create traffic. Assist to Connolly, his first point of the series.
10:27 left: Rask stops Montador from in front.
9:22 left: Solid road game thus far. Pucks in deep in the offensive zone. Good physical play. Miller unflappable. A 15-11 edge in shots (7-3 in this period).
6:56 left: A few seconds after Recchi hits the post Miller bails the Sabres out with a great pad save on yet another 4-on-2 (bad pass from Roy sent the Bruins away). The Buffalo forwards MUST stop the back passes in the offensive zone, especially the way their passing has been off. It's just creating odd-man rushes for the Bruins.
5:44 left: Lydman goes for tripping on another 2-on-1 break.
3:31 left: Bruins fall to 0 for 3 tonight and 1 for 9 in the series. Bigger news however: Tallinder took a shot to what appeared to be the right hand and was in huge discomfort on the ice and as he headed to the bench
1:30 left: Tallinder is back on the ice.
48.4 left: Bergeron fans from the slot and Montador swallows the puck for a whistle.
End-2nd: 2-0 for the Sabres through two. Shots were 8-8 again and are 16-16. Miller comes through big as Sabres had just one in the last nine minutes.
17:48 left: The Sabres score first again as Kennedy beats Rask after McCormick takes out two Bruins behidn the net. McCormick had nailed Sobotka 33 seconds earlier in the Buffalo zone too. HUGE start for him. McCormick was playing with Ennis and Mair. Kennedy had come off the bench. Great pass by Ennis after McCormick created space. 1-0, Buffalo on Kennedy's first career playoff goal. That's the way to respond for his play at the end of Game Three. Four straight games scoring first. Can you really go 1-3 doing that in a series where goals are at a premium?
15:30 left: Here's the lines -- Connolly-Gaustad-Grier, Stafford-Roy-Pominville, Ennis-Mair-McCormick, Torres-Kennedy-Kaleta.
14:00 left: Two more hits by McCormick on his next shift.
13:19 left: Shots are 5-2 for Buffalo at the first TV timeout. Standing ovation as the Boston College hockey team is introduced after winning the Frozen Four. Nice touch.
11:42 left: Rask with a nice top on Sekera after Miller stopped Lucic.
11:23 left:: Shots are 6-3 for Buffalo. Re my earlier point about scoring first, Bucky correctly points out how comfortable Boston has seemed when playing from behind. Several players told me yesterday the Bruins simply don't panic and that's how this series has gone. It's against the normal grain but it's been no big deal for Boston thus far.
7:27 left: The fans trying to get their team going with "Let's Go Bruins" chants. Rask makes a nice stop on Torres and a brief scrum develops. Kennedy gets the lone penalty, a cross-checking call. Pretty weird you only get one out of that. Sobotka was throwing punches at Kaleta.
5:20 left: The penalty is killed. Great play by Myers to break up a Satan pass in front. Boston 1 for 7 on the PP in the series.
4:45 left: Rivet gets a holding penalty but it's a dubious call in these eyes. He got the puck in his race with Wheeler. Of course, JVogl correctly points out the loose puck was set up by a horrible pass from defense partner Sekera. Rivet did get his right hand on Wheeler but still. Jeez.
3:09 left: Lucic gone for boarding. Hit Tallinder from behind into the end boards. Fans not happy. Neither is Claude Julien. Boston PP now 1 for 8. Sabres will have 1:36 on the PP. Lindy Ruff would call that a short one. I don't.
1:00 left: That's 0 for 13 for the PP. No shots but at least there was better zone time.
End-1st: Shots are 8-8 as the Sabres lead, 1-0, through one. Chara and Kaleta met hard at the buzzer and linesman Greg Devorski made the big takedown on Kaleta to end things and draw hoots from the crowd.
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