NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 1: Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers skates against Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2012 in New York City. The Bruins defeat the Rangers 2-1. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Bruins win Northeast Division for third time in four seasons


The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers both entered Sunday’s contest with a chance to lock up their division with a victory. The Rangers kept the game close, but Tim Thomas turned aside 33 shots in Boston’s 2-1 win.

Marian Gaborik struck first, scoring his 40th goal of the season on a breakaway. After a disappointing 2010-11 campaign, he’s been one of the NHL’s biggest comeback players. Unfortunately for the Rangers, his efforts proved to be moot as the Bruins’ struck back in the second period.

Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron both managed to beat Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Zdeno Chara registered his 40th assist of the season and extended his point streak to five games.

It was all Rangers in the third period, but the Bruins and Thomas managed to shut the door. The Rangers had some good chances, but Thomas made some impressive saves. With roughly two minutes left in the third, Thomas lost his stick and fell out of position, but Thomas managed to scramble back and make a glove save on Ryan Callahan’s shot.

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Boston is now locked into the second seed and will probably end up playing the Ottawa Senators in the first round. Despite this loss, the New York Rangers will still almost certainly end up with the first seed and play either the Washington Capitals or Buffalo Sabres in the playoffs. You can watch some further analysis below.

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Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.