Bruins win, clinch division title


Bruins win, clinch division title

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON It wasnt accomplished by taking the easiest road possible, but the Bruins can now be called Northeast Division champions. They fought through some typical Saturdayafternoon doldrums against a Thrashers team playing out the string, andpulled together a solid third period to take home a 3-2 victory overAtlanta at the TD Garden.
That means home ice for the first round of the playoffs, and -- probably -- the chance to look down at the hated rival Montreal Canadiens when it's all said and done."A division title is what a lot of teams obviously battle for, so Im glad that thats out of the way," said Claude Julien. "We've just got to keep playing and playing to win our nextfewgames and see where we end up."
Michael Ryder snapped a 12-game goal-scoring drought by roofing a penalty shot midway through the third period. Ryder was awarded the penalty shot when he stole a puck from Zach Bogosian and then was hauled down from behind when he moved in toward the net.
Mark Recchi opened the scoring after picking up a loose puck in front of the Atlanta net. The Thrashers scored the next two, but Daniel Paille tied things up in the second period with a stroke of short-handed genius with 6:18 to go in the second period.
Paille intercepted a half-hearted pass from Zach Bogosian in the Atlanta end and smoked a top shelf wrist shot off the water bottle for Bostons 11th short-handed goal of the season. Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane potted the goals for Atlanta as Tuukka Rask battled to get control of his shots and rebounds throughout regulation, but was at his best in the final 20 minutes when it came to winning and losing time. Rasks 15 saves over the final 20 minutes helped secure the win and improved to 4-1 against the Thrashers in his short NHL career.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: So long, Wings' streak


Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: So long, Wings' streak

The Washington Capitals remain on top, but it's time to recognize the Red Wings' 25-year playoff streak that will come to an end this spring.

Saturday, Feb. 25: Shea Theodore waits for his time with Ducks

Saturday, Feb. 25: Shea Theodore waits for his time with Ducks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving two thumbs up to The Lego Batman Movie after a screening with my 3 1/2 year old.

*Alex Prewitt has a profile on Anaheim defenseman prospect Shea Theodore as he waits for his time with the Ducks.

*The Vancouver Canucks have a mumps problem this season, and we continue to wonder why this is becoming an issue again in a first-world society.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has Patrick Eaves dealt to the Ducks for what could be first round pick if Anaheim advances far enough through the playoffs.

*Flyers GM Ron Hextall says that Philly’s young team won’t be buying ahead of next week’s NHL trade deadline.

*Along with his “Sutter-isms”, diversity is a family value for the Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.

*Dave Strader gets back into the broadcast booth with the Dallas Stars, and will be a welcomed addition to the national NBC broadcast of Bruins/Stars on Sunday afternoon.

*As cold as he was earlier in the season, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is heating up now for the Blueshirts.

*For something completely different: Brie Larson is already prepping for her role as Captain Marvel by stepping up her game as an influence for positive change among her Hollywood peers.