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Andrej Sekera scored 39 seconds into overtime to lead Buffalo to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday and keep alive the Sabres' threadbare playoff hopes.
Ryan Miller stopped 17 shots and Toni Lydman also scored for Buffalo, which would have been eliminated from contention with a loss.
David Krejci scored for the Bruins, who still gained a point and, with 91 points, moved into a three-way tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Thomas Vanek set up the decisive goal, driving up the left wing before coming to a stop in the circle and feeding the trailing Sekera just inside the blue line. Sekera then one-timed a 50-footer that beat Alex Auld just inside the left post.
The Sabres, who completed their home schedule, still face a tough challenge to make the playoffs entering the final week of the season. With 86 points and three games left, Buffalo remains in 10th place in the East, five points back of the three-team logjam.
The Bruins, who had a three-game win streak snapped, have three games left, and next play at New Jersey on Wednesday. Buffalo also has three left, and next plays at Toronto on Tuesday. The Sabres and Bruins close their season with a game at Boston on Saturday.
The Sabres bounced back after a 4-3 overtime loss to Montreal on Friday, a game in which Buffalo squandered a 3-1 lead in the final three minutes.
And yet, for a team in desperate need of a victory, Buffalo got off to a terrible start by giving up Krejci's short-handed goal 2:33 in. Krejci capped a two-on-one rush after intercepting Maxim Afinogenov's weak pass into the middle in the Bruins' end.
Lydman tied it with a power-play goal eight minutes later, when he sneaked in behind Zdeno Chara in the slot and tapped in Paul Gaustad's centering pass.
The Bruins mustered few scoring chances and managed just nine shots through 39 minutes.
Their best chance to break the 1-1 tie came during another short-handed chance in the final seconds of the second period. Ryan Miller made the initial stop on a shot tipped by Marco Sturm in front. Miller than dived across the crease to foil Krejci's attempt to convert the rebound.
The Sabres had two golden opportunities in the final three minutes to take the lead, only to be foiled by Alex Auld, who was making his first appearance in two weeks.
With 2:30 remaining, Auld misplayed an easy dump-in, juggling the puck in the crease, leading to a wild scramble during which Buffalo' s Derek Roy failed to stuff a shot by the prone goalie.
A minute later, Auld was falling backward but got his glove up to bat down Paul Gaustad's shot from the right circle.
This program aired on March 31, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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