Rick Middleton and Barry Pederson kept up their torrid scoring pace with two goals and two assists each, and Boston goalie Pete Peeters stopped 27 shots, as the Bruins humbled the Buffalo Sabres, 9-0, last night in Boston Garden to take a 3-2 games lead in their best-of-seven NHL quarterfinal.
Boston, which had the league's best regular season, can end the series Friday night in Buffalo. A seventh game would be in Boston Sunday night.
The Bruins dominated Game 5 from the start. They drove goalie Bob Sauve to the Buffalo bench on goals by Bruce Crowder 2:16 into the action and Middleton on a power play 58 seconds later.
Phil Myre took over after the second goal, but there was no stemming the Bruins. He gave up goals to linemates Pederson, Middleton--in a short-handed situation--and Mike Krushelnyski in the first period; Pederson and Gord Kluzak in the second, and Steve Kasper and Peter McNab in the third period.
Pederson and Middleton picked up where they left off in Boston's 6-2 win Monday night in which Middleton had two goals and four assists and Pederson two goals and three assists. In nine 1983 playoff games, Middleton has eight goals and 15 assists and Pederson nine goals and 12 assists.
Peeters, who led NHL goalies with eight regular-season shutouts, had few difficult shots to handle in his second career playoff shutout.
The Bruins repeatedly skated around Buffalo's defenders. Crowder's goal came after Ray Bourque took the puck all the way through center ice and into the left corner. From top left of the crease, Crowder tipped Bourque's pass into the net. Then Middleton skated unmolested into the slot, took a pass from Pederson and sent in a 20-footer.
"We had a plan but we couldn't do much being down 2-0 so quickly," said Buffalo Coach Scotty Bowman.