Bruins clinch Eastern Conference with win over Flyers
|04.05.14 at 3:33 pm ET|
Johnny Boychuk broke a tie in the third period, while Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly provided insurance to give the Bruins a 5-2 victory over the Flyers Saturday. With the win, the B’s clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins gave some regulars the day off, though the team didn’t term either one a healthy scratch. Jarome Iginla missed his second game of the season, with Loui Eriksson playing on Krejci’s line in his place. Kevan Miller missed his first game after playing in 33 straight contests.
Krejci scored at 15:56 of the first period, finding a loose puck in front after Eriksson put the initial shot on net. Krejci corralled the puck, took his time and lifted it over a sprawling Ray Emery.
The Flyers tied the game in the second period with a power play goal from Wayne Simmonds, but Lucic gave the Bruins the lead back just 19 seconds later with a blistering slap shot from the high slot off a feed from Krejci down low. Jay Rosehill answered that with his second goal of the season.
The Bruins finally separated for good in the third, with Boychuk firing a slap shot that went off Mark Streit on its way past Emery. Milan Lucic made it 4-2 with his second of the game. Kelly added an empty-netter with 20.7 seconds remaining.
Tuukka Rask picked up his 35th win of the season.
The B’s have four games remaining in the regular season. Up next is a two-game road trip to Minnesota and Winnipeg before they play their final home game against the Sabres and finish the season in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Claude Julien clearly is trying to see how well Eriksson can play the Rich Peverley role as a third-liner who fills in for top-six guys, and he looked good playing on the Krejci line Saturday. Eriksson also played on the Krejci line Wednesday and skated on Patrice Bergeron‘s line Thursday.
— After going nine straight games without a goal, Lucic has scored three goals in the last two games. He showed up in the playoffs big-time last season, so it’s good for the B’s to see some more offense out of him as the regular season winds down.
— With an assist on Boychuk’s goal, Bergeron now has points in 11 games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins have fallen victim to some pretty bad penalty calls the last few games, and it continued Saturday with a really weak interference call against Bergeron. With Reilly Smith skating the puck around Kimmo Timonen in the Flyers zone, Bergeron and Timonen made light contact, with Bergeron trying to get out of the way. Bergeron was still whistled for interference.
To make matter worse, Bergeron beat out a hybrid icing after getting out of the penalty box, but icing was still called. Saturday was a rough one for the officials.
— Torey Krug played with a broken stick on a second-period play, allowing the power play that led to Simmonds’ goal. After his stick broke on a giveaway, Krug held on a little too long as he tried to take down Jakub Voracek, and the call was rightfully made.
– In general the Andrej Meszaros-Krug pairing did not look good Saturday. Meszaros is looking more and more likely to be the healthy scratch on the back end when the postseason starts, but Julien isn’t ruling out a rotation. Matt Bartkowski, who figures to be Meszaros’ main competition, played on the second pairing with Boychuk Saturday.