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Philadelphia at Boston

Bruins too much for sliding Flyers, clinch No. 1 in East

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins own the NHL's best home record.

Now they know they'll have home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Johnny Boychuk scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:06 left in the third period, Milan Lucic had two goals and the Bruins clinched the conference's best record with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

With four games remaining on their schedule, the Bruins have 50 regulation and overtime wins -- the league's first tiebreaker. Second-place Pittsburgh has 44 and can't catch Boston if it wins the rest of its games.

''You work so hard for that all season, it's nice we could do it here,'' Lucic said.

It was Boston's league-leading 30th home victory.

The win also moved Boston two points ahead of St. Louis for the NHL's best record. The Blues lost to Colorado on Saturday.

''With the win today we clinched [the conference], and it's good for our team,'' Boston defenseman Torey Krug said. ''We're excited about having home ice now.''

Boston coach Claude Julien knows it's been a good season.

''You just have to look at our record,'' he said. ''We're at 113 [points]. I think that shows you overall we've been a pretty good team. We've had struggles at times, but I don't think there's an area I'd consider a weakness on the team.''

David Krejci also scored for the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron extended his consecutive point streak to 11 games, setting up Boychuk's go-ahead score.

Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill scored for the Flyers, who are in a tight race with a group of teams for a playoff spot.

''Every game is a must-win,'' Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. ''There are a lot of teams behind us trying to make the playoffs. We have played good enough to be in the position we are right now and we can't forget that. We have to remember that we are a good team and we are in this position because we did a lot of good things this year.''

Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for the Bruins, who had lost their past two games.

Ray Emery made 37 saves for the Flyers. Philadelphia has lost three straight.

Emery hopes the Flyers can turn things around quickly.

''The playoffs come fast and if you're not playing well, normally you see yourselves out pretty quick,'' he said. ''So we definitely want to be sharp going in.''

Bergeron won a faceoff cleanly back to Boychuk, who fired a slap shot past Emery's glove for the go-ahead goal. Lucic scored less than a minute later and Chris Kelly added an empty-netter with 21 seconds to play.

The teams were tied 2-2 entering the third period after the Flyers came back twice.

Trailing 1-0, the Flyers snapped a lengthy scoreless stretch on Simmonds' power-play goal 14:36 into the second when he gained possession of a shot off the back boards and slipped a backhand behind Rask. Philadelphia was shut out in its past two games, and it halted the scoreless stretch at 165:01.

But Boston regained the lead 19 seconds later when Krejci circled the net and fed Lucic, who one-timed a shot past Emery from the slot.

Philadelphia then tied it at 2 when Rosehill collected Michael Raffl's pass alone at the bottom of the right circle, spun quickly and beat Rask inside the far post at 16:21.

Krejci's goal 15:56 into the first period gave Boston a 1-0 lead. He scored off the rebound of Loui Eriksson's shot, collecting the puck and shifting to his right before firing a wrist shot into the open side of the net.

Notes

Boston F Jarome Iginla was sidelined for the second time in three games, moving Eriksson to the top line. The team said the first one was because of a lower body injury, but didn't have injury details of this one before the game. ''It's very minor,'' Julien said. ''More of a maintenance day.'' ... Bruins D Kevan Miller was also scratched with an unspecified injury. ... The Flyers host Buffalo on Sunday before three straight road games. ... Boston is off until it opens a two-game road trip at Minnesota on Tuesday. The Bruins are at Winnipeg on Thursday. ... Boston F Reilly Smith was presented the team's Seventh Player Award before the game. The award is voted by the fans for the player that performs ''above and beyond'' expectations. ... It was the Flyers' only regular season visit to Boston.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Loui Eriksson picks up four assists and records a plus-3 in a season-high 20:29 of ice time for the Bruins.  (USATSI)
Loui Eriksson picks up four assists and records a plus-3 in a season-high 20:29 of ice time for the Bruins. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Philadelphia (39-28-9)0202
Boston  (53-18-6) «1135
Three Stars
D. Krejci
BOS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Lucic
BOS


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
L. Eriksson
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 4
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
15:56 - David Krejci (17), Snap Shot. Assist: Eriksson, Lucic
2ND PERIOD
14:36Power Play - Wayne Simmonds (26), Backhand Shot. Assist: Streit, Giroux
14:55 - Milan Lucic (23), Slap Shot. Assist: Krejci, Eriksson
16:21 - Jay Rosehill (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Raffl, MacDonald
3RD PERIOD
13:54 - Johnny Boychuk (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Bergeron
14:25 - Milan Lucic (24), Wrist Shot. Assist: Krug, Eriksson
19:39 - Chris Kelly (9), Empty Net. Assist: Eriksson, Chara
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
51.0Lucic, 2 min, Roughing
10:46Rosehill, 5 min, Fighting
10:46Thornton, 5 min, Fighting
2ND PERIOD
04:11Bergeron, 2 min, Interference
12:43Krug, 2 min, Broken Stick
3RD PERIOD
15:24Giroux, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
 123T
PHI99826
BOS8122242
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Ray Emery59:32374
Tuukka Rask60:00242
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Jean Hebert, Brian Pochmara
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Brian Murphy
 
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