Bruins Clinch Top Spot in East with 5-2 Win
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.