"As good as he was, he was arguably facing the best goaltender in the league, if not more," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Rask and Olympic MVP Ryan Miller of the Sabres. "He obviously made a reputation for himself. For him to go head-to-head and come out the winner, I think it speaks volumes for how Tuukka's played."
Miller, who was pulled for an extra skater with 2:25 left and again with just over two minutes remaining, made 28 saves for Buffalo. Patrick Kaleta, Nathan Gerbe and Thomas Vanek scored for the Sabres, with Vanek making it 4-3 with 1:13 left and Miller off the ice.
Buffalo, which missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons, has not won a series since reaching the conference semifinals in 2006 and '07.
Blackhawks 5, Predators 3
Visiting Chicago advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the second straight year, capturing Game 6 for its third straight victory. Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal for the Blackhawks, who will face Vancouver in a second-round series for the second straight year.
Nashville has been eliminated on home ice in all five of its postseason appearances.
Canadiens 4, Capitals 1
Halak came within 4:50 of his first playoff shutout, making 18 saves in the first period, 14 in the second and 21 in the third. "We make goalies feel unbelievable," said the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, whose team had the NHL's best regular-season record.
Halak, who stopped 37 shots in Friday's 2-1 victory in Washington, won despite the Capitals' 54-22 advantage in shots.
"It'll be on ESPN Classic tomorrow as one of the greatest goalie performances," Cammalleri said. "He was making saves that were just exceptional. I couldn't have been more impressed."
The energy is gone, so Jacques Lemaire is walking away from coaching. Just four days after the Devils were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the third straight year, Lemaire, 64, made the surprising announcement that he is retiring. - AP