Alex Auld is quickly earning the respect of his new teammates.

Auld made 44 saves last night in his second start since being acquired from Phoenix on Thursday, and Marc Savard had a goal and assist, lifting Boston to a 4-1 win over host Buffalo.

Auld was spectacular in his second straight win, and made several terrific saves in the second and third periods when Boston was outshot, 33-15.

"When he played for Florida last year he had our number, so I knew he was a good goaltender," Savard said. "Phoenix had a lot of goalies, so their loss is our gain right now for sure."

Auld, 26, was just 3-6 with a 3.54 goals against average and one shutout in nine games with the Coyotes this season before being assigned to San Antonio of the AHL. He made 25 saves in his Boston debut Saturday at Toronto, a 2-1 Bruins win.

"I have a lot of confidence in what I can do, but at the same time you don't want to get too ahead of yourself," Auld said. "I feel I can play in this league and I feel it's where I belong."

Despite Auld's play, Boston coach Claude Julien said Tim Thomas would continue to be Boston's starter when he fully recovers from a groin injury suffered last week. Still, Julien praised Auld's showing against the Sabres.

"It's nice to have a situation where you can depend on who you are going to put in there," he said. "It was a solid performance on his part. The outcome could have been a lot different, especially if he hadn't bailed us out there in the second period."

P.J. Axelsson, Peter Schaefer and Glen Metropolit also scored for the Bruins, who won their second straight and third in five games.

"It wasn't one of our best efforts," Savard said. "We don't want to ride our lead like we did tonight. Thankfully, we had Alex back there . . . He was fantastic."

Jaroslav Spacek scored for Buffalo, which lost for the fourth time in six games. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller finished with 17 saves.

"We have to find a way to score," said Buffalo forward Jason Pominville, who had a game-high eight shots. "We're not going to win many games getting one goal."

In other games:

* At Washington, Jeff Schultz scored early in the second period, lifting the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over New Jersey and snapping the Devils' point streak at 10 games.

* At Nashville, Tomas Kopecky and Valterri Filppula scored and Detroit won its seventh straight with a 2-1 over the Predators. Martin Gelinas scored for Nashville.

* At Los Angeles, Brad Stuart, Anze Kopitar, Derek Armstrong and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings in a 4-2 win over Vancouver.

* At Dallas, Brenden Morrow scored on a power play 4 minutes into overtime and the Stars beat Edmonton, 5-4. Sergei Zubov had a goal and three assists for Dallas.

* At Columbus, Chris Pronger scored on a power play with 1:45 left in overtime, giving Anaheim a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets.

* At Toronto, Jason Blake started a four-goal spurt in the second period, Chad Kilger scored twice and the Maple Leafs routed Tampa Bay, 6-1. Matt Stajan, Nik Antropov and captain Mats Sundin also scored for the Leafs. *