Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal for either side in the shootout and Tim Thomas stopped Jason Pominville as the Bruins beat the Sabres, 4-3, in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday at TD Garden. The Bruins finish their Stanley Cup defense with a regular season mark of 49-29-4, good for 102 points and the No. 2 seed in the East, and open the playoffs this Thursday at TD Garden.
Tyler Seguin scored twice and Brad Marchand tied the game with just under eight minutes left in regulation as the Bruins fought back from a 3-1 third-period deficit. The Bruins took a 1-0 lead Seguin took a feed from Bergeron and beat Jhonas Enroth for his 28th goal of the season at 3:15 of the second.
But the Sabres tied it up on Boyes' first marker of the day, as he beat Tim Thomas with just 4:15 left in the second. Boyes gave the Sabres the lead when he came down on a 2-on-1 rush with Thomas Vanek and flipped a backhander past Thomas with just under 13 minutes left in the third.
Jason Pominville appeared to give the Sabres insurance when he scored just under two minutes later to make it 3-1. But Seguin let a shot rip from just above the left circle and it beat Enroth for his second of the game and 29th of the season, making it 3-2 with 10:04 left. Bergeron stole the puck moments later just below the Sabres blue line and fed a perfect pass to Marchand in the low slot. Marchand beat two Sabres for the puck and flipped a backhander past Enroth to tie the game with 7:38 left.
Seguin finished as the team's goal-scoring leader with 29, just one more than Marchand.
The game had no impact on Boston's potential playoff opponent on Thursday in Game 1 of the playofs at TD Garden. With Ottawa losing in regulation Saturday afternoon in New Jersey, the Bruins open with the Capitals if Washington beats the Rangers Saturday night and the Panthers earn one point in their game against the Hurricanes. If the Capitals fail to gain two points or if the Capitals win and the Panthers lose in regulation, the Bruins will still open the playoffs against the Senators.
Before the game, the Bruins handed out their regular season awards, with Brad Marchand winning both the Dufresne (home performance) and Bucyk (community service) honors. Zdeno Chara was honored with the Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle). The three stars for the season went to Milan Lucic (No. 3), Patrice Bergeron (No. 2) and Tim Thomas (No. 1).
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