Best of NHL: Bruins snap Flames' 10-game win streak

Best of NHL: Bruins snap Flames' 10-game win streak

CALGARY, Alberta -- Brad Marchand scored his league-leading 36th goal of the season and David Backes returned after getting hurt to score the game winner and the Boston Bruins defeated Calgary 5-2 on Wednesday night to end the Flames' 10-game winning streak.

Marchand is also tied with Chicago's Patrick Kane and Edmonton's Connor McDavid for the top spot in the NHL with 76 points.

Backes got tied up with Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and was taken into the corner boards 12 minutes into the game. He was favoring his leg as he was helped off the ice.

But he returned seven minutes into the second period and on his second shift back he broke a 2-2 tie. Backes took a pass from David Krejci on a 3-on-2 and from 30 feet whipped a wrist shot over the glove of Chad Johnson.

David Pastrnak scored twice, and Matt Beleskey also scored for Boston. The Bruins' fourth straight win moves them within three points of the second-place Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division.

Alex Chiasson and Dougie Hamilton scored for Calgary (see full recap).

Compher scores 1st career goal in Avs' win
DENVER -- J.T. Compher scored his first NHL goal, Calvin Pickard stopped 27 shots and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Matt Duchene scored his first goal in 12 games and Carl Soderberg added his first in 18 games as the NHL-worst Avalanche won at home for the third time in four tries. They are 11-22-2 at the Pepsi Center this season.

Andreas Athanasiou scored for the Red Wings, who, like their once-hated rival, are well out of the playoff hunt. Jimmy Howard made 26 saves in his second start since returning from a knee injury that had kept him out since Dec. 20.

The Avalanche were shut out for the 12th time this season in a 1-0 loss to Arizona on Monday, tying a franchise record set in 2008-09. It took them 1 periods to break through against Detroit (see full recap).

Late rally gives Flyers something to show for strong effort

Late rally gives Flyers something to show for strong effort


RALEIGH, N.C. – Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol commended his team for a complete 60-minute effort that was needed to overtake and defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 at PNC Arena on Saturday night (see observations).

“It’s an important two points, but I guess, as important I thought it was a really hard-working, start-to-finish win for us,” he said.

Placing Alex Lyon in net to lead from the back end, the young netminder made 23 stops, many critical, that allowed the Flyers to generate momentum to strike all at once in the third period.

Trailing 1-0, containing the Hurricanes’ speed and ability to maintain puck possession was a priority – somewhat of ‘survive and advance’ mindset to have in March.

The Flyers won 27 of 48 draws, a stat that eventually evened out, but was a critical one that the Flyers led in for two periods, before taking advantage of Carolina turnovers in the third.

 “It was a grind,” Hakstol said. “I liked the way we played in the first two periods. We talked about a couple of little things we can maybe improve going into the third, but the biggest thing was making sure we went out and got a big penalty kill to start with and just go back at it.”

For 40 minutes, Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward stymied shooters like Jakub Voracek and crease cleaners like Wayne Simmonds, among others, but the force of the shield he presented eventually diminished late in the game. The Flyers scored all four of their goals in the final 11-plus minutes.

While giving the puck away 10 times, 15 takeaways allowed the Flyers to regain possessions and capitalize on their chances when it counted most. 

“I don’t know if there was a catalyst,” Hakstol said when asked to identify the turning point in the game for his team.

“A lot of times it’s the simple, hard things that you do. That’s what it takes to score at this time of year.”

The win pulled the Flyers back into a tie for third place in the Metropolitan Division, a floating buoy line extending to the wild-card spot they will tread beside for the remainder of the season, unless they can compile more wins like this one.

“We needed a win for a lot of different reasons,” Hakstol said. “We needed the two points in every respect, but we needed a win for our group in here to have something to show for their hard work. When you lose games and can’t put wins together, the negatives really start to magnify, even though there’s a ton of positives. On a couple of different levels, this was an important two points.”

Both teams in wild-card spots keep close to Flyers

AP Images

Both teams in wild-card spots keep close to Flyers

LOS ANGELES — Keith Kincaid stopped 38 saves for his first shutout of the season, helping the New Jersey Devils improve their playoff positioning with a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Michael Grabner, Nico Hischier and Miles Wood each scored for the Devils, who moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey leads Philadelphia and Columbus by one point with both the Flyers and Blue Jackets playing later.

The Devils have won three in a row and four of five.

Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for the Kings, who are tied with Anaheim for third in the Pacific (see full recap).

Nutivaara's second-period goal lifts Columbus past Ottawa
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Markus Nutivaara scored a power-play goal in the second period, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Saturday night.

Boone Jenner also scored -- his third tally in three games -- for the Blue Jackets, who have won a season-high seven straight and are holding on to the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 83 points, tied with Philadelphia and one point ahead of New Jersey.

Alexandre Burrows scored his fifth of the year and Mike Condon stopped 33 shots for Ottawa, which saw a three-game winning streak snapped on the second night of a back-to-back (see full recap).

McDavid's 3 points get Oilers past Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. — Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists in the third period and the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ty Rattie and Adam Larsson also scored for the Oilers, who are 4-1-1 in their past six games.

Cam Talbot made 40 saves for the Oilers.

Frank Vatrano and Vincent Trocheck scored for Florida.

Roberto Luongo made 32 saves for the Panthers, who lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods (23-1).

With Edmonton trailing 2-1, McDavid scored his 34th on a shot from the right circle 38 seconds into the third period, and Larsson's fourth of the season at 6:13 gave Edmonton the 3-2 lead (see full recap).