BOSTON (AP) — Chris Wagner had an extra reason to smile when he scored a goal after his first one was disallowed.“My grandfather passed away yesterday morning Michael Del Zotto Jersey , so this was a special game for me. Maybe he was watching out for me, having the puck follow me around,” the forward said after the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday night.“He was probably laughing after that first goal was disallowed,” he said.David Backes also scored and Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots for the Bruins, who posted their fourth straight victory.“He was hurting. As a team we feel for him,” linemate Noel Acciari said of Wagner. “That was pretty cool to see that go in.”Boston won three of four games in the season series against Buffalo.Rask was looking for his first shutout of the season, but former Bruins’ defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen beat him with a wrist shot on the glove side with 2:38 left in regulation.The 31-year-old Rask seems as if he’s found his game again after a rough start to this season saw the No. 1 goalie sharing more time with backup Jaroslav Halak.“He does look comfortable, maybe part of that is he’s getting more reps in the net,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s certainly earning them. . It appears to be his time of year, off he goes and we’re just going to ride it. If that what he brings, awesome.”Sabres star Jack Eichel missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to be re-evaluated early next week.“They play their system very well and it’s a hard building to play in,” Ristolainen said. “We’ve got to understand it’s not going to be easy for 60 minutes for us. We couldn’t create enough today.”Linus Ullmark made 39 saves for Buffalo, which has won just once in its last five games.The Sabres pulled Ullmark with just over a minute left for an extra skater, but were unable to get a shot on goal.Backes played in his first game after serving a three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head on New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman.Wagner had a goal wiped out when Sean Kuraly was called for goaltender interference 20 seconds into the game, but the Boston winger scored just under 10 minutes later Sam Gagner Jersey , firing a wrist shot past Ullmark’s glove to make it 1-0.Backes made it 2-0 when he finished off a 2-on-1 break by sending a wrist shot under the cross bar two minutes into the second period.Boston forward Jake DeBrusk didn’t shy away from a question after the morning skate when asked if it was too early to be called an important game between the clubs, which entered tied for third in the Atlantic Division.“No, I think anytime you play a division team it’s a big game,” he said. “These games mean a lot towards the end of the year.”The Bruins then went out and dominated in the second period, holding the Sabres to just two shots on goal in the opening 15-plus minutes. Boston had a 13-10 edge in shots in an entertaining first period filled with high-energy rushes. Rask was solid in the first and third, controlling rebounds and cutting down angles on most of the shots.Rask made a nice glove stop on Jeff Skinner’s backhander from the edge of the crease late in the second. He also made a right-pad stop on Skinner’s close bid early in the third.NOTES: Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who missed his fifth straight with a lower-body injury, should be returning to practice this week. . Boston entered the game having allowed a league-high nine short-handed goals. Cassidy said he believes short-handed scoring is up overall in the NHL over the last few years because teams adopted the practice of playing four forwards on power plays, but he also admitted “ours are way too high.”UP NEXTSabres: Host New Jersey on Tuesday.Bruins: Host Minnesota on Tuesday. WASHINGTON (AP) Alex Ovechkin is built like a linebacker with the motor of a steam engine and the mentality of a wrecking ball.He can score like no other player of this generation and few in history and has the physicality to match. That was evident from his first NHL shift when he powered up ice and crushed Columbus defenseman Radoslav Suchy so hard it knocked out the stanchion between the panes of plexiglass.Ovechkin at 32 is no longer the human bulldozer he once was, but his hard-hitting style never put a dent in his prime years as he became the fourth-fastest player to 600 goals . On Sunday in Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals‘ 2004 No. 1 pick will be the first player from that draft class to play 1,000 NHL regular-season games, a testament to his durability that is also difficult to duplicate in modern hockey.”That he has reached 1,000 games this quickly is an amazing accomplishment with the way he plays,” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said. ”These are big men Womens Devante Smith-Pelly Jersey , and the league has gotten faster but it’s also gotten much more fit, and that Alex has been able to span those generations and continue to play and be incredibly productive is really a historic feat.”In 13 seasons, Ovechkin has missed more than four games only once and never missed more than 10. Take out the eight games for suspensions and the Russian winger has only sat out for injury 21 times out of a possible 1,028.”I heard a couple years ago that he said he’s the Russian Machine,” longtime teammate Nicklas Backstrom said. ”That probably has something to do with it.”Ovechkin brushed off an injury in his second season with the now-famous line, ”Russian machine never breaks.” Ovechkin has played through knee and back pain and finished one playoff series on a fractured foot, illustrating his pain tolerance while also avoiding the kinds of serious injuries that derail other players’ careers.Goaltender Braden Holtby pointed out that it helps Ovechkin to not kill penalties and risk injuries in those situations while also marveling at how the Moscow native is built. His 6-foot-3, 235-pound frame gives him the tools to punish opponents with his body as much as his shot.”When you’re big guy like Ovi, you’re not gonna be afraid to hit no one,” Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov said. ”And when people gonna hit you, they’re gonna feel it, for sure.”When Barry Trotz coached in Nashville, he remembered players seeing Ovechkin down the hallway cutting his stick and whispering about how big he was. Ovechkin had that intimidating presence to him.”Trust me, we had a lot of nervous defensemen,” Trotz said. ”We had a couple of nervous cats.”Watching Ovechkin’s sometimes reckless play could have at one point made the Capitals nervous http://www.officialcanucks.com/authe...ertschi-jersey , too, because of how valuable he is and how important it is he stay healthy. In recent years, he has toned it down with age and as hockey has gotten faster with lower priorities on hitting.”As soon as you get a little older, you realize when you have to get a hit and when you have to take a hit,” Ovechkin said. ”You can see right now in the playoffs it’s different hockey. Of course, every shift you try to do something out there, but in the regular year you don’t have to run around and hit everybody because if a game is 5-2 or 4-1 you don’t have to do it. Obviously you have to play smarter and try to do different things.”Evolving his game as a scorer and a power forward has helped Ovechkin get to this point where he’s on the verge of leading the league in goals for the seventh time and reach 50 for the eighth time.If Ovechkin, who still has Stanley Cup aspirations and three years left on his contract, maintains this level of durability and wants to keep playing in North America toward age 40, reaching 1,500 games isn’t out of the question.”There are a lot of players that have played 1,000 games but not as many players have scored 600 goals,” Leonsis said. ”If he takes cares of himself – which he has been, he looks great – he can play a lot of years in the league.”—