BOSTON — Drew Stafford scored the only shootout goal after Buffalo tied the game in the final minute of regulation, and the Sabres beat the Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday night in the first pro game in Boston since the marathon bombing on Monday.
The Sabres forced overtime with 26.6 seconds left when Cody Hodgson scored his 14th goal of the season, tipping in Thomas Vanek’s pass into the slot during a power play.
Boston still clinched a playoff berth by gaining one point. The Bruins are tied in points with Montreal atop the Northeast Division, but have one game in hand on the Canadiens. Both teams trail Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh by nine points.
The Bruins quickly gave their fans something to cheer about when Daniel Paille scored his ninth goal of the season just 5:15 in. Vanek tied it with his Buffalo-leading 17th goal on a power play at 18:20 of the first. Chris Kelly then scored the go-ahead goal, his third tally of the season, at 14:48 of the second.
Boston moved into second place in the Eastern Conference with 57 points and six games left.
The Canadiens, who lost to Pittsburgh earlier Wednesday, have five games remaining.
The 10th-place Sabres, who beat Philadelphia and Tampa Bay last weekend, are fighting to get into playoff position. They are two places and two points below the postseason cutoff, but have only four games to go.
The Bruins had been scheduled to play at home against the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. But less than five hours before the game was to start, the bombs exploded. That game was postponed and rescheduled for April 28.
In the shootout, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand missed for Boston. Buffalo’s first two shooters, Vanek and Nathan Gerbe, also were stopped before Stafford beat Anton Khudobin.
PENGUINS 6, CANADIENS 4
In Pittsburgh, Brenden Morrow scored two goals for the second consecutive game and the Penguins beat Montreal to move closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Brandon Sutter added two goals for Pittsburgh, and newly acquired Jarome Iginla and Doug Murray also scored for the Penguins, who had little trouble with the Canadiens despite playing without injured stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots and Pittsburgh dominated in racing to a quick 4-0 lead.
Brian Gionta, Alex Galchenyuk, Gabriel Dumont and Andrei Markov scored for the reeling Canadiens, who have lost three in a row. Peter Budaj started in goal but was pulled after stopping just six of the nine shots he faced in the first period.
Carey Price relieved and allowed three goals on 20 shots, absorbing the loss.
The Penguins lead the Canadiens by nine points in the fight for the top seed. Both teams have five games remaining.
Crosby missed his seventh consecutive game because of a broken jaw, and Malkin sat while nursing a lingering shoulder injury.