Game recaps, plus updates on Semyon Varlamov, T.J. Oshie, Olli Maatta, Ed Jovanovski, Thomas Greiss and more.
BOSTON GLOBE: Three unanswered goals by Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly lifted the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The win ensured the Bruins clinched first overall in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Without a doubt, the Bruins are the “Beasts of the East” this season. A return trip to the Stanley Cup Final is a good possibility this spring.
DENVER POST: Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the St. Louis Blues 4-0. With the win, Varlamov tied coach Patrick Roy’s franchise record 40th win. Blues star T.J. Oshie, meanwhile, has found focusing on hockey hasn’t been easy of late as his new-born daughter is recovering from gastroschisis surgery.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Jamie Benn scored twice as the Dallas Stars downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2, vaulting over the Phoenix Coyotes into the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
TWINCITIES.COM: Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 20 shots backstopping the Minnesota Wild to a 4-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins, giving the Wild a five-point cushion over the 8th overall Dallas Stars. The injury-ravaged Penguins lost another player to injury, as rookie blueliner Olli Maatta is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
WASHINGTON POST: Evgeny Kuznetsov’s shootout winner lifted the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the NY Islanders, keeping the Capitals playoff hopes alive.
NJ.COM: Dainius Zubrus tallied twice as the New Jersey Devils stayed alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
THE TENNESSEAN: Patric Hornqvist scored twice and Carter Hutton kicked out 35 shots as the Nashville Predators blanked the San Jose Sharks 3-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars are now one point over the Phoenix Coyotes while the
Coyotes Predators are six points out of playoff contention. The Devils are tied in points with the Toronto Maple Leafs and sit one point out of playoff contention behind the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals are two points out.
NOTE: All games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres are on pace to set a franchise record for the fewest goals in one season, but need only one point to avoid finishing the season tied for the franchise record for fewest points (51).
MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski looks to continue his involvement in hockey when his playing days come to an end. The 37-year-old blueliner intends on finishing the final year of his contract next season.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes backup Thomas Greiss aims to become an NHL starter.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Luke Glendening to a three-year, $1.9 million contract.