Chris Stewart

Sabres lose five players to injury in loss to Bruins

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Buffalo Sabres goalie Matt Hackett wasn’t the only player to get hurt in their 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion) and forwards Matt D’Agostini (lower-body), Brian Flynn (lower-body), and Chris Stewart (re-injured ankle) all left the Saturday afternoon tilt with separate injuries as John Vogl of The Buffalo News shares.

It’s a tough enough year on us in our situation with the standings, but also to lose bodies the way we’ve been doing is an unfortunate thing, too,” McBain said. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my career. I’ve never heard of anything like it.”

All five players will not suit up against the New York Islanders on Sunday for the final game of the season.

The Sabres have the worst record in the NHL and will have the best odds of landing the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. The Sabres’ injury list headed into the game was already long enough with guys like Tyler Myers leading a list of others out of action.

Now the real question now is: Who the heck is going to play for this team tomorrow?

Video: Bruins’ Paille knocked out of game by Sabres’ McCabe

Chicago Blackhawks v Boston Bruins
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The Boston Bruins could be headed into the postseason a bit more banged up than they hoped.

Bruins forward Daniel Paille was knocked out of their 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon. Paille was put down on the ice after a big hit at the blue line by Sabres rookie defenseman Jake McCabe.

McCabe was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. Paille was led off the ice straight to the locker room where he did not return. Bruins coach Claude Julien did not offer an update on Paille after the game. Paille missed time with a concussion back in early March and suffered from concussion-like symptoms in December.

The debate here is if this hit was worthy of a major penalty. The better debate might be whether it was worth a penalty at all. Have a look:

Bruins clinch Presidents’ Trophy with 4-1 win against Sabres

Christian Ehrhoff, Shawn Thornton
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Give it up to the Boston Bruins, they are the class of the NHL regular season.

The Bruins clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s best record in the regular season after they took out the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Saturday afternoon.

David Krejci had two goals and Patrice Bergeron scored his 30th goal of the season to lead the way for Boston. Tuukka Rask made 24 saves to get the win.

It’s the first time the Bruins have won the Presidents’ Trophy since the 1989-1990 season. That year, the Bruins lost to Mark Messier and the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final.

It wasn’t all good news for Boston, however, as Bergeron departed the game after the second period with what Claude Julien called a “very minor” injury and Daniel Paille was knocked out of the game after a big hit by Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe.

Report: Iginla bonuses will cost Bruins next season

JaromeIginla
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The Boston Bruins have to be happy that they decided to sign Jarome Iginla over the summer. Although he wasn’t able to play on Saturday, Iginla has been one of their best players with 30 goals and 61 points in 76 games.

That success comes with a price though and it looks like it’s one the Bruins won’t be able to pay this season. The 36-year-old forward was eligible to sign a contract that was heavy in bonuses because of his age and the Bruins took advantage of that to ink him to a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the potential for an additional $4.2 million in performance bonuses.

The reason Boston went that route is because it kept his cap hit artificially low — at least temporarily. Teams are allowed to breach the salary cap ceiling through bonuses, but if they do so, then the excess carries over to the following season. With that in mind, the Boston Bruins are expected to have a cap penalty of around $4.5 million in 2014-15 due to Iginla, Dougie Hamilton, and Torey Krug’s bonuses, according to the Boston Globe.

That’s a sizable disadvantage and ironically might get in the way of the Bruins’ goal to re-sign Iginla. Boston already has around $62 million committed to the 2014-15 campaign, not counting the penalty and the salary cap is projected to be about $70 million.

They will have some flexibility because Marc Savard’s annual hit of roughly $4 million will be negated by putting him on the long-term injured reserve list, but the Bruins also have a handful of restricted free agents to re-sign. In other words, Boston doesn’t have a lot of breathing room going into the summer.

Video: Leafs avoid collapse by beating Bruins in overtime

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs
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It’s a win for the Toronto Maple Leafs. But it bordered on yet another collapse.

The Leafs avoided disaster by defeating the Boston Bruins in overtime by a final score of 4-3 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They get back to within a point of the Columbus Blue Jackets – victorious on the same night against the Philadelphia Flyers – for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Leafs entered the third period with a two-goal lead, but that quickly evaporated on home ice. That’s where things got interesting – very interesting, indeed.

Jonathan Bernier left the game with an injury with the Leafs up by a goal, forcing James Reimer into action in a pressure-packed situation (recall that this happened in the middle of March against the L.A. Kings with positive results).

With Reimer into the game, the Bruins got the equalizer from Patrice Bergeron, sending the game into overtime. It very well could’ve been that the Leafs coughed up a two-goal third-period lead, then lost the second point in the extra period.

It didn’t turn out that way. Nazem Kadri’s power play goal lifted the Leafs to victory.

The update on Bernier afterward was that he has a “lower-body” issue and will have an MRI tomorrow, according to Arash Madani of Sportsnet.