Blocks were the key

Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis both recorded a goal and an assist.

Buffalo’s top defense pair of Henrik Tallinder and Calder Trophy finalist Tyler Myers were each plus-3.

Ryan Miller made 34 saves.

But those weren’t the most impressive numbers of the night for the Sabres once their 4-1 win over the Bruins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at HSBC Arena was complete.

No the most amazing stat was Buffalo’s 26 blocked shots.

Now I’m not one to put a ton of weight into in-house stats keeping. Every arena seems to have a different definition of what is considered a blocked shot a giveaway, etc. But on this night, that number might’ve been an underestimation. The Sabres had bodies and sticks in every passing and shooting lane the Bruins thought they had open. Buffalo left little doubt about which team was playing for it’s playoff life.

For a complete recap of the game, log on to Yahoo!

Game 6 is Monday night at TD Garden in Boston at 7 p.m.

•The Bruins actually outshot Buffalo, 35-33, for the game. But most of that was during a 21-7 third period, when the Sabres were playing to the scoreboard and not attacking nearly as much.

•Sometimes a minus-2 can be misleading, even for a defenseman. However, Bruins blueliner Andrew Ference earned his negative rating in just 14 minutes of ice time. On Buffalo’s first goal, Ference lost Adam Mair behind the Boston net and then lost his stick, which allowed Mair to skate out front and bank in the pivotal score. Then on the Sabres’ second goal Ference twice tried to weakly clear the puck a few feet from the Bruins’ blue line. His first backhand attempt barely went a foot before landing on a Sabres player’s stick, and his second try went right into Vladimir Sobotka’s skates for a giveaway. The Bruins won’t be able to close out this series if their third pair starts to hurt them in limited ice timem.

•The Boston power play broke through for a goal for the third time this series and the penalty kill remained perfect with two more kills. It was a second-period Buffalo power play, though, that might’ve really turned the tide in this game. After Marco Sturm was called for high sticking late in a Boston power play at 7:09, the Sabres turned the heat up — perhaps for the first time on the man-advantage in the entire series. Just 13 seconds after the power play, Mike Grier scored Buffalo’s third goal.