Khudobin leads B's to 3-1 win over Senators

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Khudobin leads B's to 3-1 win over Senators

OTTAWA The Bruins and Senators have been on a seeming collision course since very early in the hockey season, but they played nice in their final meeting before the playoffs.

There were no fights, no truly questionable hits and little scoring in a goaltending clinic put on in Bostons 3-1 victory over the Senators at Scotiabank Place. The victory was a coming out party for Kazakhstan native Anton Khudobin, who made 44 saves in his first game donning a Black and Gold Bruins sweater.

Erik Karlsson whiffed on a wide open one-timer at an empty net in the final minutes of the third period that could have given Ottawa their point to clinch the No. 7 seed, but it didnt happen.

The loss means that theres still a possibility the Bruins could face Washington in the first round if both Ottawa and the Capitals lose in regulation during their final games of the season.

Khudobin was supported by a first period strike from Benoit Pouliot and a second period score from Greg Zanon. The Pouliot goal was a pretty give-and-go with Brian Rolston while the Zanon game-winner eluded Ben Bishops glove hand after it was launched from the left point.

Jason Spezza got the Senators on the board when his hot shot from the slot bounced off Andrew Ferences ankle, ricocheted off the post and then bounced off the Bs goaltender on its way to the back of the net.

But the story was Khudobin, who made a dizzying array of saves with every method imaginable while spelling Thomas against the Senators. He snuffed out a Daniel Alfredsson wraparound at the post, flashed a quick glove hand on his sizzling shot from the high slot and stoned Nick Foligno on a couple of bids right around the net among his highlight reel stops.

Milan Lucic added the insurance tally for his 26th goal of the season.

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.

*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.

*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.

*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.

*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.

*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.

*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.

*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.

*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.

 

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday's practice, meaning they had all 53 players on their active roster present and accounted for at all three practices this week. 

Contrast that with how things have gone for the Steelers this week, and there is a stark difference. Star running back Le'Veon Bell missed each of his team's first two on-the-field workouts this week, and several Steelers players are dealing with a bug that seems to have circulated the locker room. 

The Patriots could have an interesting game-day roster decision to make should Chris Hogan (thigh), Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Danny Amendola (ankle) both be healthy enough to play on Sunday. They have not entered a game with five receivers in uniform this season but could potentially dress Mitchell, Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd.

Other players listed as limited participants in practice this week are Brandon Bolden (knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Jabaal Sheard (knee).