BOSTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Jamie Rivers scored his first two goals of the season after Joe Thornton was ejected and Byron Dafoe stopped 20 shots Saturday night as the Boston Bruins shut down the anemic Buffalo Sabres, 3-1, for their third straight victory.
Thornton slugged Alexei Zhitnik and hit the Sabres defenseman again while he was down on one knee with 22 seconds left in the first period. Boston's leading scorer drew an instigator penalty, a fighting major, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
The Sabres had an uninterrupted seven-minute power play that became a two-man advantage when Dafoe shot the puck into the crowd and was penalized for delay of game. Maxim Afinogenov scored during the five on three to forge a 1-1 tie at 3:02 of the second period.
But Rivers completed his first career two-goal game just over five minutes later to put Boston ahead for good. Just two seconds after a Bruins' power play expired, he whipped a one-timer from just inside the blue line past screen goaltender Bob Essensa and inside the left goalpost.
Bill Guerin added an insurance tally with three minutes to go in the period and Dafoe stopped all four shots in the third as Boston completed a 4-2-0 homestand.
Essensa made 24 saves in his first start in three weeks, but could not prevent the Sabres from suffering their third straight loss. They have scored just two goals during the slide.