BOSTON — Despite his second shootout in two nights, Buffalo goalie Anders Lindback found a way to top the Bruins.
Lindback made seven of his 44 saves in overtime, then shut out Boston for three rounds of the shootout as the Sabres rallied to beat the Bruins 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“I think we as a team deserve it. We have been working so hard and where we are it’s a tough situation to be in for everyone that is here,” said Lindback, who came to the last-place Sabres in a February trade with Dallas.
Lindback hadn’t won as a starter with the Stars or Sabres this season. He was in the net Monday when the Sabres lost to Washington 4-3 in a shootout and coach Ted Nolan planned to give him the night off in Boston.
Nolan reconsidered and Lindback responded.
“It’s where I’ve been aiming to be,” Lindback said. “You have to be able to give your team a chance to win every night as a starting goalie in this league. It’s not an easy thing. It’s what I’ve been working for and trying to get there.”
Lindback faced 38 shots against the Capitals, then 45 more from the Bruins. The only one to get past him Tuesday night was after a funny bounce off the back boards came right to Loui Eriksson outside the crease.
Eriksson tapped it in to give Boston a 1-0 lead 9:55 into the first period.
Lindback said he misread the puck on the play, but saw it clearly the rest of the game while stopping the Bruins, who are trying to hang on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“Right now it’s about results and it’s definitely a big point that we’ve let slip by,” said Patrice Bergeron, who was stopped by Lindback to open the shootout.
Boston’s Torey Krug shot wide on the final attempt of the shootout, clinching Lindback’s first victory as a starter this season. Lindback was 0-10-2 as a starter with Dallas Stars and the Sabres.
Rasmus Ristolainen scored Buffalo’s goal early in the third period to tie it, and the Sabres earned their first victory over Boston this season. Tyler Ennis had the only goal in the shootout, putting a wrist shot under the crossbar that was confirmed after the officials gathered to discuss it.
“The way it sounded, I thought it went in. I was hoping it went in,” Nolan said.
Niklas Svedberg had 23 saves for Boston.
“As the game goes on, you’ve got full control. You’ve got a 1-0 lead and you just can’t seem to get that second goal,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “Those are the dangerous situations to be in when a team hangs around that long and eventually they’re going to get a break somewhere and they did.”
Lindback had made a blocker save on Bergeron’s wrist shot from the right circle with about six minutes left in the third period, and stopped a wraparound attempt by David Pastrnak to keep the Sabres in it.
Brad Marchand got off a tough wrist shot early in overtime that Lindback gloved out of the air. He smothered another wrist shot by Krug with 3:12 left in overtime on the Bruins’ 40th shot of the game.
“They work extremely hard in practice,” Nolan said. “He’s not your typical goaltender who takes a few shots and gets off. He wants a lot of shots and he stays in for some breakaway shots. Players love that and when they love that, they usually play hard for you.”
The Sabres had just three shots in the first period. Buffalo gradually got stronger as Lindback continued making difficult saves.
Ristolainen tied it 1-1 on a goal 1:13 into the third period. Ristolainen’s slap shot deflected off a player or two before making its way through traffic and beating Svedberg.
Eriksson gave Boston a 1-0 lead after the puck took an unexpected bounce off the end boards. Lindback thought the puck was going to go around the boards, but it came out just far enough for Eriksson to poke it in from just outside the crease.
NOTES: Boston recalled G Jeremy Smith from Providence of the AHL to back up Svedberg. Tuukka Rask rested with what the Bruins called “general soreness.” Rask had started the previous four and seven of eight. … Brian Gionta’s assist on Ristolainen’s goal gave him 26 points in 50 games against Boston. … The Bruins outshot the Sabres 14-3 in the first period.