Boston clinch Atlantic Division title with quick victory over Washington
AP Monday, March 31, 2014, 12:08 am TWN
WASHINGTON -- The Boston Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division title Saturday as Carl Soderberg and Jarome Iginla scored 41 seconds apart in the second period in a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
Iginla scored twice to reach the 30-goal mark, and Patrice Bergeron added a goal as the Bruins won for the 14th time in 15 games. Chad Johnson made 31 saves, and he and Tuukka Rask have combined to allow only 13 goals over 11 games.
Jason Chimera and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored, and Braden Holtby stopped 32 shots for the Capitals, who were down 3-0 before they could find any traction against the possession-minded Bruins.
Colorado clinched its first playoff berth in four years after Semyon Varlamov had a season-high 47 saves in the Avalanche's 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Center John Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who moved past Chicago into second place in the Central Division with 100 points in what might have been a costly victory.
Center Matt Duchene injured his knee injury on the opening shift Saturday when he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn near the Sharks' blue line. He fell to the ice and then gingerly skated to the bench.
Anaheim's Corey Perry and Saku Koivu each had a goal and an assist, and Frederik Andersen made 31 as the Ducks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-1.
Luca Sbisa, Matt Beleskey and Mathieu Perreault also scored for Anaheim, while Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik added two assists as the Ducks moved into first place in the Pacific Division.
Brad Richardson scored for Vancouver, which remained five points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
At Glendale, Arizona, Zach Parise scored two of Minnesota's three third-period goals as the Wild came back to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1 in a game with playoff implications.
Phoenix nursed a 1-0 through two periods on Mikkel Boedker's early power-play goal, but the Coyotes went 24:28 without a shot.
Parise leveled it from the top of the circle off a face off 8:03 into the final period, then Jared Spurgeon scored on a slap shot from the top of the right circle with 7:03 to play and Parise added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
The Detroit Red Wings downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 thanks to a Darren Helm hat trick, while Anze Kopitar scored two goals in the first period to help the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
In other games, the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime, the Dallas Stars downed the St. Louis Blues 4-2, the New York Islanders won the shootout to defeat the New Jersey Devils 2-1, the Montreal Canadiens trounced the Florida Panthers 4-1 and the Tampa Bay Lightning were 4-3 overtime winners over the Buffalo Sabres.
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