DENVER — The Boston Bruins became the first NHL team to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And they did it by refusing to get ahead of themselves.
Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg each had a goal, Chad Johnson stopped 31 shots for his third career shutout, and the Bruins beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Friday night for their 11th win in a row.
“We don’t really worry about how many we’ve won or who we’re playing in one day or two days,” Johnson said. “We just worry about who’s next. That’s sort of where our mindset is. Just staying in the moment, I think, is the biggest key to our success right now.”
Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara said clinching a postseason berth won’t alter that mindset.
“We still have to play our hockey, really focusing on the little details going into the playoffs, and not getting satisfied and complacent,” he said. “We just still have to push our team to the best, maximum results.”
Johnson was at the center of their latest success, which pushed their point total to 101, the 21st time the team has reached the 100-point threshold.
“He made some saves that helped us a lot,” Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton said. “I thought he played really well.”
Colorado pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra attacker with five minutes remaining but couldn’t avert its first shoutout of the season. The Avalanche had scored at least once in 80 straight games since their previous shutout last April 6 at Phoenix.
“They slowed us down and they did a good job,” Colorado’s Matt Duchene said of Boston. “We hadn’t been shut out all year. Usually, it happens against great teams.”
Colorado, which handed Boston its only shutout of the season on Oct. 10, was the last NHL team to be blanked this season.
“I thought our play was very positive,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “We had a lot of good chances early on. Except for maybe the first six or seven minutes of the start of the third, I thought we played better than them. Their goalie played really well. He made some great saves.”
Johnson turned away a flurry of shots in the final minutes and delivered two key saves in the second period, using his glove to stop Nathan MacKinnon’s shot on a breakaway and stuffing Jan Hejda’s shot from up close with his upper body.
“They had some good chances there in the second, and I just tried to be in position and make the saves when I thought I could,” said Johnson, who improved to 10-0-1 in his last 11 starts, a career-best point streak that includes a pair of shutouts.
With the Bruins on the power play, Loui Eriksson passed to Soderberg in the lower right circle for a wrist shot into the upper corner of the net on Varlamov’s stick side. That made it 2-0 at 13:11 of the second period.
Boston also struck in the first. Bergeron slipped through Colorado’s defense, taking a pass from Hamilton in the slot and firing a shot that Varlamov stopped. But the rebound trickled out, and Bergeron knocked the loose puck back into the net at 5:12.
“He made a good play to go to the net. I just put it in to him,” Hamilton said. “He hit him right in the chest and he had a good finish off of that. I was pretty happy to have that there.”
NOTES: The Bruins’ win streak is the longest since a 13-game run in the 1970-71 season. … Avs C John Mitchell sat out for a second time after leaving Tuesday’s game at Montreal with a back injury. He remains day to day. … Colorado D Erik Johnson turned 26 on Friday. … Boston hasn’t lost since a 4-2 defeat to Washington on March 1. … The Bruins have also won their last six road games and earned a point in their past 13 (10-0-3). … Boston has won its last three games in Denver.
NEWARK, N.J. — Brad Marchand and Jarome Iginla scored in a 59-second span early in the second period and the Boston Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Tuesday night for their 10th straight win.
Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly also scored and Chad Johnson made 20 saves as the Eastern Conference leaders hurt the Devils’ postseason hopes by sending them to their third straight loss.
The 10-game winning streak ties Anaheim for the NHL’s longest this season. It is the Bruins’ longest since a 10-game run in November 2011, and four shy of the franchise record set in 1929-30.
Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac scored for the Devils, who are now in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight year and third time in four. Martin Brodeur made 27 saves.
BOSTON — Tuukka Rask made 21 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night for their seventh consecutive victory.
Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla scored for Boston. The Bruins took over the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 93 points, one more than Pittsburgh.
Mike Smith made 18 saves for the Coyotes, who had won two straight.
The Bruins scored twice in the first period, the first coming on Chara’s wrist shot past Smith, who was screened by Bruins forward Chris Kelly. It was the 16th goal of the season for the Bruins’ captain – three short of his career high.
It was still 1-0 when the Coyotes had their best early scoring chance, getting a puck that got through Rask and trickled behind him. But the goalie reached back with his stick and swiped it off the goal line for the save.
On the ensuing breakout, the Bruins got the puck to Johnny Boychuk at the blue line and his slap shot was deflected by Iginla into the net. It was his 21st goal of the season.
Lauri Korpikoski scored for Phoenix with 12 minutes left in the game to spoil Rask’s shutout. Phoenix had a chance to tie with about two minutes to play but Rask slid to his left and deflected a shot off his skate and into the post before it rolled away.
DALLAS — The game between Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets was called off in the first period after Stars forward Rich Peverley, who once played for the Boston Bruins, collapsed on the bench.Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets
Play was halted 6:23 into the game Monday night as Peverley was carried from the bench. A public address announcement was made several minutes later that the 31-year-old Peverley was conscious and taken to the hospital.
“They’re shaken and they want to reschedule. We understand that,” John Davidson, the Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, told Fox Sports Ohio. “They were shaken to the core.”
There was no immediate announcement of when the game would be made up. Columbus was leading 1-0.
Peverley missed the start of the season because of a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, a condition diagnosed during a training camp physical.
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