BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Patrice Bergeron scored the go-ahead goal on a third-period power play in leading the hot-starting Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.
Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic, into an empty net, also scored. Backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 25 saves in only his second start of the season.
The Bruins (8-1-1) are off to the team’s best start to a season by earning 17 points in their first 10 games. The team’s previous best was 16 points through 10 games, set four times, the last in 1978-79, when they opened 7-1-2.
Boston beat the only team that’s defeated them this season, after the Sabres won 7-4 at Boston on Jan. 31. And the Bruins continued their roll following an extended break.
The Bruins have been off since a 2-1 win at Montreal on Wednesday, and had their home game against Tampa Bay on Saturday postponed due to a winter storm.
Tyler Ennis scored for Buffalo, and Ryan Miller was solid in making 36 saves.
Bergeron’s goal came 28 seconds after Buffalo’s Mike Weber began serving a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass in his own zone. The Bruins worked the puck back to the left point, where Chris Bourque’s point shot hit a body in front.
The puck took a hard carom off the end boards and dribbled directly to Bergeron in the left circle, from where he snapped a shot into the top right corner.
Miller was otherwise outstanding in keeping the Sabres in it, while coming off a stellar 41-save outing in a 3-2 win at Long Island a night earlier.
In the first period, Miller got his right pad out to stop Zdeno Chara on a breakaway. Early into the third period, Miller got his glove up to snag Marchand’s snap shot from the lower right circle, where he was set up by Thomas Vanek’s giveaway.
Miller’s best save came six minutes into the second period when he spread-eagled, getting his right pad out, to stop Nathan Horton’s one-timer from the left circle.
And Miller had little chance on Marchand’s opening goal, which sneaked in through a crowd 7:10 into the second period. The goal came as a result of Ennis’ lazy no-look clearing attempt that was easily stopped at the left point by Andrew Ference.
Ennis made up for that miscue 11 minutes later. Set up along in front by Drew Stafford’s pass from the right boards, Ennis faked a shot to draw out Khudobin, and then snapped a shot in behind the goalie.
The Bruins goalie had his big moments, too, though most of the Sabres shots he faced came from the outside.
Khudobin got his blocker out to stop Stafford’s sharp shot from the right circle 5 minutes in. He did the same to stop a shot from defenseman Andrej Sekera from nearly the same spot midway through the second period.
Bruins forward Chris Kelly avoided a scare in the final seconds of the first period. Driving in on net from the left wing, Kelly got a shot off before going airborne and crashing hard into the right post. Kelly got up immediately and returned for the start of the second period.