BOSTON—Miroslav Satan shot, the horn blared for a second time, and this time there was no doubt.
After being robbed by Olympic MVP Ryan Miller in the first extra period on a shot so certain that the goal horn sounded, Satan scored a power-play goal after 27:41 of overtime on Wednesday night to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres and a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.
"It was a tough game and a long game and, you know, finally it's over," said Satan, whose goal with 9 seconds left in a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty against Buffalo's Drew Stafford helped him forget his earlier miss.
"I beat myself up. I kept thinking about it, but he just made a great save on it. There's not too many goalies who could have stopped it."
The Bruins have won three straight after losing the opener of the best-of-seven series, and they could advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory in Buffalo on Friday night.
Miller stopped 36 shots for Buffalo, which earned 100 points and a Northeast Division title in the regular season but now needs to win three in a row to avoid elimination.
"If they can win three, we can win three. But it starts with just winning one, to get ourselves back on track," Miller said, noting that the Sabres have scored first in each of the first four games. "I don't know, for whatever reason we need to protect the lead. Geez, it almost would be better if we got scored on first."
The Bruins rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to force overtime, and it was still 2-2 when in the second OT when Stafford was caught on the ice as a sixth skater and was unable to scramble back to the bench in time. With the power play expiring, Satan got a pass from Michael Ryder in front of the net and put it past Miller.
"I just jumped on. There's not much to say," Stafford said. "It's just so disappointing. It's just disappointing. But we don't have time to dwell on it. We've got to get ready to play."
Tuukka Rask made 35 saves for Boston, and also assisted on Satan's power play goal.
It was an ironic twist for a city in which "too many men on the ice" has for decades conjured memories of their 1979 Stanley Cup semifinal series against the hated Montreal Canadiens. Leading 4-3 in the final minutes of Game 7, the Bruins were called for a bench minor and Guy Lafleur tied it with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
Montreal won it in overtime and went on to win its 22nd NHL championship, and the Bruins remained in a title drought that is at 37 years and counting.
Former Bruins coach Don Cherry is still remembered for that in Boston, and Sabres coach Lindy Ruff took the blame on Wednesday.
"Ultimately, when there's too many men on the ice, it's the coach's fault," said Ruff, who did not dispute that call but complained about the goalie interference that led to Boston's first goal. "We didn't blow it. Nobody blew it."
Tim Kennedy and Steve Montador scored for Buffalo, which opened a 2-0 lead after two periods. David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored in the third period for Boston.
Both goalies made stunning saves to keep their teams in the game.
Rask reached out to knock away a puck that even 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara couldn't reach, preserving the tie with 11 minutes left in regulation. Miller stopped Blake Wheeler on a short-handed breakaway, then got a glove on a sneaky backhander from Satan early in the first overtime.
Miller surprised even the scoreboard operator, who sounded the goal horn briefly.
But they were off to another overtime.
In the second extra period, Miller took a shot from Milan Lucic off the chest protector and doubled over in pain. Just 31 seconds later, the Sabres were caught with too many men on the ice, and though Stafford did a quick about-face to scramble back to the bench, it was too late.
For the fourth straight game, the Sabres scored first, and they took a 2-0 lead with 7 minutes gone in the second when Montador's slap shot from the point was deflected by traffic in front of the net past Rask.
The Sabres were 30-0 in the regular season when leading after two periods, but Boston snapped the streak in Game 2 when it rallied from a 3-2 deficit with three third-period goals to win and swipe away home-ice advantage.
And the Bruins did it again in Game 4.