Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/22/14 at 11:11 AM ET
BRUINS EXTEND WIN STREAK, CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
The Bruins became the first team to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating Colorado 2-0. The win was Boston’s 11th in a row, the club’s longest winning streak since capturing 13 consecutive games in 1970-71. The Bruins have earned a point in each of their last 13 road games (10-0-3), their longest streak since a 14-game stretch in 1975-76 (10-0-4). Their 101 points put them in a tie for the League lead with the Blues, who have a game in hand.
* The Bruins have outscored opponents 43-15, allowed two goals or fewer nine times and killed 29 of 31 power-play opportunities during their 11-game win streak.
* Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season. Johnson is 10-0-1 in his last 11 decisions, allowing two goals or fewer in nine of them, and has won each of his last five games. He improved his season record to 16-3-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 23 appearances.
SHORTHANDED WINNER CARRIES BLACKHAWKS
A shorthanded breakaway goal in the third period by Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was the difference maker in a 3-2 win over Carolina. Toews’ fourth game-winner of the season came just 31 seconds after Hurricanes forward Alex Semin had tied the game with a 5-on-3 power-play goal.
* Toews recorded his fifth shorthanded point of the season (3-2—5), one behind League leader Patrik Elias of New Jersey (2-4—6).
* Patrick Sharp opened the scoring to reach the 30-goal mark for the fourth time. Sharp’s 69 points (30-39—69) are two short of his career best, set in 74 games in 2010-2011.
RANGERS TAKE METROPOLITAN DUEL
The Rangers scored three unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Blue Jackets 3-1 and leapfrog them into third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have won three of their last four games.
* Derick Brassard scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season and has 3-1—4 in his last two games. Brassard hit the 40-point mark (16-24—40) for the third time in his career.
* Mats Zuccarello posted 0-2—2 for the second consecutive game. Zuccarello has 12 multi-point games this season and leads the Rangers in scoring with a career-high 15-34—49.
* The Rangers improved their road record to 22-13-0, tying the Blues (22-10-3) for the most road victories in the League.
PREDATORS OUTSHOOT FLAMES
The Predators led by nine separate scorelines in fending off a series of Calgary comeback attempts to hang on for a 6-5 victory.
* Three Predators tallied multiple points, led by Matt Cullen, whose 1-3—4 matched his season high. Cullen’s third-period goal marked his second game-winner of the season.
* Shea Weber scored twice for the second time this season. The Predators captain leads the team in scoring with 18-28—46.
* Patric Hornqvist registered 1-2—3 for his second three-point game of the campaign.
The Avalanche were shut out for the first time this season, becoming the last NHL team to be held scoreless in a game…Flames forward Kenny Agostino played in his first NHL game…Mike Cammalleri posted 2-1—3 in his second three-point game of the season to improve to 7-3—10 on a six-game point streak…Two Nashville players recorded career milestones: D Victor Bartley opened the scoring with his first career goal in his 62nd contest and C Calle Jarnkrok earned an assist on Viktor Stalberg’s second-period goal for his first NHL point in his first career game… Pittsburgh’s James Neal and Detroit’s David Legwand each were fined $5,000 by the Department of Player Safety for separate incidents in a game between the clubs Thursday.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
St. Louis @ Philadelphia, 1:00 p.m., FS-MW, CSN-PH
Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh, 1:00 p.m., NHLN-US, SUN, ROOT
Detroit @ Minnesota, 2:00 p.m., FS-D, FS-N
Ottawa @ Dallas, 3:00 p.m., SNET-E, TVA, FS-SW
Florida @ Los Angeles, 4:00 p.m., FS-F, FS-W
Montreal @ Toronto, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, NHLN-US
NY Rangers @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., MSG, MSG PLUS
Carolina @ Winnipeg, 7:00 p.m., CBC, FS-CR
Boston @ Phoenix, 9:00 p.m., NESN, FS-A PLUS
Calgary @ Edmonton, 10:00 p.m., CBC
Washington @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., CSN-DC, CSN-CA
SATURDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
* The Blues would clinch a Western Conference berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they earn at least one point against the Flyers OR if the Senators defeat the Stars in any fashion OR if the Bruins defeat the Coyotes in any fashion.
* The Sharks would clinch a Western Conference berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Capitals in any fashion AND either the Senators defeat the Stars in any fashion or the Bruins defeat the Coyotes in regulation, OR if they earn one point against the Capitals AND the Senators defeat the Stars in regulation.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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