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Alex Tuch lifts Sabres over Bruins in OT

Dec 31, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson (23) and Boston Bruins center Pavel Zacha (18) go down battling for the puck during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Tuch scored with 1:07 left in overtime to cap a two-goal, two-assist performance as the Buffalo Sabres earned a 4-3 win over the host Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

Dylan Cozens, whose extra-attacker goal with 1:37 left in regulation forced overtime, stripped the puck from Boston captain Patrice Bergeron and dished to the trailing Tuch on an odd-man rush to produce the winning goal.

Tuch posted a career-high four points for the second time this season, while Cozens finished with a goal and an assist as the Sabres earned their sixth consecutive win despite being outshot 40-25.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 37 saves for Buffalo, facing 11 shots in the second period and 19 more in the third.

David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each finished with a goal and an assist, and David Krejci handed out a pair of helpers for Boston, which is 8-0-3 in its last 11 games and 18-0-3 at home this season.

Bergeron also scored for Boston. His 1,012 career points are tied with Phil Esposito for third-most in Bruins history.

Jeremy Swayman (21 saves) was in the Boston net.

The Bruins drew first blood at 13:09 of the opening period when Krejci set up Pastrnak for a one-time goal in the left circle, finishing an impressive passing sequence that included all five skaters touching the puck.

However, it was 1-1 entering intermission as Tage Thompson’s 27th goal of the season and sixth in as many games evened the score at 16:13. He cut to the net front for an easy finish after Jeff Skinner picked off a loose puck in the slot.

Buffalo tipped the score in its favor 2:03 into the second period. Tuch coasted in on a breakaway from the center red line and beat Swayman blocker side.

After tallying an 11-6 shot advantage in a scoreless middle frame, Boston’s power play struck for a tying goal at 5:16 of the third. Bergeron buried a one-timer from his trademark bumper position in the slot, following Marchand’s feed from along the corner boards.

The Bruins went ahead at 12:25 as Pastrnak sprung Marchand down the middle for a breakaway, and he snuck a shot five-hole on Luukkonen.

After Rasmus Dahlin blocked Pastrnak’s attempt at an empty-net goal to cinch the game for Boston, he whipped the puck into the offensive zone and Tuch set up Cozens in the right circle with 1:37 left in regulation.

–Field Level Media