Brian Boucher stopped 35 shots as the Flyers' new starting goalie helped Philadelphia grab a first-round playoff series lead with a 4-2 win over the host Buffalo Sabres last night.

Danny Briere and Nikolay Zherdev scored second-period goals as Philadelphia bounced back with two straight wins after a 1-0 series-opening loss Thursday. Game 4 is in Buffalo tomorrow night.

Jeff Carter and Kimmo Timonen, with an empty-netter, also scored as the Flyers improved to 6-0-2 in their past eight visits to Buffalo, including the regular season.

Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe scored in a game the Sabres never led.

Boucher got the start after he stopped 20 of 21 shots in a 5-4 win Saturday in relief of rookie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Penguins 3, Lightning 2: Tyler Kennedy put Pittsburgh ahead early in the third period and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots in Tampa, Fla. Maxime Talbot and Arron Asham also scored for the Penguins, who took a 2-1 lead in the series.

Pittsburgh rebounded from a 5-1 home loss in Game 2 despite giving up two more power-play goals to Martin St. Louis. The Lightning star erased a 2-0 deficit by striking late in the opening period, then again early in the third.

But Kennedy answered with the go-ahead goal just 31 seconds later, scoring in heavy traffic from in front of goalie Dwayne Roloson after Pittsburgh won a faceoff in the left circle.

Bruins 4, Canadiens 2: David Krejci and Nathan Horton scored first-period goals, Tim Thomas stopped 34 shots and Chris Kelly scored into an empty net with 25.6 seconds remaining in Montreal. The Canadiens lead the series 2-1.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara returned to the lineup after missing Saturday night's 3-2 loss because he was hospitalized overnight for dehydration.

Study: Concussions up

A new study finds that the amount of time NHL players missed because of concussions increased from 1997 to 2004.

The report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the largest and most detailed analysis of concussions in hockey, examined physician reports from seven regular seasons. There were a total of 559 concussions during regular-season games, a concussion rate of 5.8 for every 100 players, or an estimated 1.8 concussions per 1,000 player-hours.

"We found . . . a gradual increase in post-concussion time loss over the seven years of study," said lead author Dr. Brian Benson of the Sport Medicine Centre at the University of Calgary's faculty of kinesiology.

The highest-profile player to be sidelined by a concussion in recent months is Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who has not played since Jan. 5.

In March, commissioner Gary Bettman announced new concussion protocols.-- AP

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