A shot by New Jersey Devils center Reid Boucher enters the net of Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask for a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 2-1. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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Flyers ‘win’ big with tough losses for Red Wings, Bruins

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When it comes to the East playoff races, the biggest winners were generally the teams that didn’t even play. Otherwise, Tuesday stands as an evening of spoilers.

(Heck, the Pittsburgh Penguins almost fell to this pattern as well, but they managed to gut out a shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres.)

Wildly frustrating

The Philadelphia Flyers have to be smiling tonight.

For one thing, the Boston Bruins dropped their sixth of seven games as the New Jersey Devils defeated them 2-1 in regulation. The Bruins had to be gritting their teeth during an unlikely standout game by Keith Kinkaid, as Boston lost despite a 40-15 shot advantage.

The Montreal Canadiens did the Flyers a solid, too, narrowly edging the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 (also in regulation).

Detroit nearly rallied after Petr Mrazek was given an early hook when Montreal went up 2-0, but it wasn’t to be.

At least it appears as though Dylan Larkin avoided injury:

The New York Islanders won to strengthen their hold over the top wild card spot, so here’s a glance at how the races for the East’s final wild card spot and the Atlantic’s third seed look right now.

Third in Atlantic: Bruins – 88 points, 36 ROW, five games remaining

Second Wild Card: Flyers – 87 points, 35 ROW, 7 GR

Behind in Wild Card and Atlantic: Red Wings – 87 points, 36 ROW, 5 GR

As you can see, things are suddenly looking extremely promising for the Flyers while the Red Wings and Bruins remain very close.

Another idle team smiles

Nazem Kadri‘s hot streak scorched the Florida Panthers on Tuesday as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Cats 5-2.

With that, the Tampa Bay Lightning benefit, as they’re technically the top team in the Atlantic as of tonight.

1. Atlantic: Tampa Bay – 93 points, 41 ROW, 6 GR
2. Atlantic: Florida – 93 points, 35 ROW, 6 GR

The Lightning have to hope that they break the spoiler cycle, as their next opponent is the Montreal Canadiens.

Long story short … it was a good night to watch the games, and not just for fans.

Bruins sign college prospects Rob O’Gara, Sean Kuraly

Yale's Rob O'Gara (4) clears the puck after colliding with Quinnipiac's Matthew Peca (20) during the first period of the NCAA Frozen Four men's college hockey national championship game in Pittsburgh Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)
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The college signings continue with two moves by the Boston Bruins, in both cases with fifth-rounders from the 2011 NHL Draft.

In Tuesday’s case, they signed defenseman Rob O’Gara (pictured in his Yale sweater) and forward Sean Kuraly (who played for Miami of Ohio). The Bruins selected O’Gara with the 151st pick in 2011 while the Sharks initially drafted Kuraly 133rd of that same year and round.

“We are excited to have Rob O’Gara and Sean Kuraly join the Bruins organization,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said. “They were outstanding college players and both young men have tremendous character and leadership qualities.”

Stanley Cup of Chowder pegs this as a move that should bolster the Bruins’ AHL roster.

These signings along with Brandon Carlo coming from the WHL will bolster an already-strong P-Bruins roster; the team currently sits third in the Atlantic Division, and has three of the league’s top fifteen scorers, including two of the top five in Seth Griffith and Alexander Khokhlachev.

Tonight was a bummer for the Bruins

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For Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Thursday went from humbling to grumbling.

The Florida Panthers beat his Bruins 4-1 tonight, moving to first place in the Atlantic Division, at least for the time being.

It wasn’t just a loss for the Bruins; it was also a fifth defeat in a row. Add in an injury and a frustrating call or two, and Julien’s franchise wins record is probably not on the tip of many tongues.

The injury

John Michael-Liles suffered a lower-body injury and was unable to return. It’s unclear how bad it might be beyond that.

The insult

A goal review almost left Julien’s face blue:

One other result: some unease among the locals.

Hey, if Julien showed anything in setting a new benchmark for Bruins coaches, it’s that he can roll with the punches. That’s good, because the Panthers landed a few on his kisser this time around.

Video: Belichick, Ortiz, other Boston notables honor Bruins’ Julien

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The Boston Bruins gave one great salute to head coach Claude Julien on Thursday, celebrating the fact that he now owns the franchise’s record for coaching wins.

(It seems fitting that it comes against Roberto Luongo‘s team in a big game, doesn’t it? Even if it’s with the Florida Panthers this time … maybe?)

Anyway, one of the highlights was a video tribute, which included Boston sports icons like David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Bill Belichick. Also interesting to see other coaches pop up and praise Julien:

The veteran head coach said he’s humbled by the great response:

It wasn’t the only noteworthy presentation by the Bruins, as they also held a moment of silence for the attacks in Brussels.

Brassard, Lundqvist and the Rangers hand Bruins their fourth straight loss

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The New York Rangers jumped out to an early lead, received solid goaltending once again from Henrik Lundqvist and handed the Boston Bruins their fourth consecutive defeat.

Lundqvist made 39 saves in the win. But none were better than this spectacular glove save in the third period to maintain his team’s two-goal lead at the time.

He reached back to stop the puck on the goal line — the play was reviewed to see if the puck completely crossed the line, but there wasn’t conclusive evidence to overturn the call — and deny Lee Stempniak on the rebound.

The Rangers went on from there to defeat the Bruins by a final score of 5-2 to stay four points ahead of the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

Meanwhile, the Bruins are losers now in four straight, which includes three in a row during a recent trip through California.

Derick Brassard scored the winning goal for New York. He ripped a perfect slap shot over the glove of Jonas Gustavsson into the top corner, just under the cross bar, in the second period.