Boston gets valuable win, avoids injury scare
The last thing the Bruins needed, particularly after the high of earning a big victory, was the low of losing another star. Fortunately for them, they got the best of both worlds.
Tuukka Rask fended off 30 shots and Boston ended its seven-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over Carolina. Leading scorer Patrice Bergeron, who scored the game's first goal, took a shot off his leg late in the game and had to be helped off the ice, but coach Claude Julien deemed the injury not serious.
Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder and David Krejci each scored a goal and assist for Boston, which moved three points ahead of the Rangers with a game in hand. Johnny Boychuk also scored.
Erik Cole scored twice for the Hurricanes, who fell 10 points behind Boston with 13 games to play.
Key playoff victories
Several teams in the hunt for the postseason earned crucial wins. To wit:
--Apparently all Atlanta needed to end its six-game skid was to play Olympic MVP Ryan Miller. The Thrashers scored three goals against Miller in the first five minutes, let that lead slip away but got a late goal from Jim Slater for a 4-3 victory over Buffalo. Niclas Bergfors posted three assists. The Thrashers trail Boston by five points.
--Sergei Kostitsyn snapped a 1-1 tie early in the third and Montreal defeated the Rangers, 3-1. Montreal hurdled Philadelphia into sixth place but the Flyers have two games in hand.
--Pekka Rinne made 42 saves and three more in the shootout to lead Nashville past Philadelphia, 4-3. The Predators are six points ahead of No. 9 Calgary.
--Andrew Ebbett and Martin Havlat each scored a goal and assist in support of Josh Harding's 34 saves in Minnesota's 4-2 victory over Edmonton. The Wild closed to within six points of Detroit.
--Kari Lehtonen made 45 saves as Dallas routed San Jose, 8-2. Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow each scored two goals and two assists. Both had a shorthanded goal in the third period. Dallas is seven points out.
--A career-high five points, including two goals, for John Tavares sparked a 5-2 victory for the Islanders over Vancouver. Dwayne Roloson made 35 saves. New York is seven points out.
In other action
--Jonas Gustavsson stopped 30 shots, 12 different players had points, and Toronto upended Ottawa, 4-1.
--Phoenix got 27 saves from Ilya Bryzgalov and held off Tampa Bay, 2-1. The Coyotes trail San Jose by five points in the division and lead No. 5 Colorado by five points in the race for home-ice advantage. Phoenix also tied a franchise-record with its 43rd win. (On a side note, I don't think I'm ever drafting Vincent Lecavalier again in any fantasy league. Unless it's a league for overpaid, overrated so-called superstars.)
--Brooks Laich scored two goals with an assist, Brendan Morrison had a goal and two helpers, and Washington smacked down fading Florida, 7-3.
--Peter Mueller netted a pair of goals, added an assist, and Colorado dealt St. Louis a big loss, 5-3. Paul Stastny posted a goal and two helpers.
Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"Right now, we're struggling with knowing how to play a game and play it all night long."
Stat of the night
500 - Career victories for Dallas coach Marc Crawford after Tuesday's win, the 15th coach to reach the milestone.
Quote of the night
"That's a kick to the berries."
Daryl Reaugh, Dallas color commentator after the first Stars shorthanded goal against San Jose, which made the score 5-2 early in the third period.
Wednesday, March 16 (3 games)
Well, it's either the Penguins getting swept in the season series by the Devils or an episode of "How the Goalies Turn" featuring Chicago, fresh off two horrible collapses, against Anaheim. Calgary is also in action against Colorado needing a win.