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Senators grab significant regulation win against Bruins

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The Montreal Canadiens have gotten back on track, so it remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators really have a chance to win the Atlantic. Either way, they got a pretty big win on Monday.

Ottawa managed to beat the Boston Bruins in regulation (4-2), strengthening their lead for second in the division while also putting the top spot in reasonable reach:

Atlantic’s top four

1. Canadiens – 82 points in 66 games played
2. Senators – 78 in 64 GP
3. Bruins – 74 in 66 GP

Maple Leafs – 70 in 64 GP

As you can see, this win leaves the Senators comfortably ahead of the Bruins with more points and more games in hand. They also have games in hand to make things interesting with Montreal.

The Bruins, meanwhile, must worry about the Maple Leafs taking the third spot a little bit more after this outcome.

Ottawa is riding some nice play from Alex Burrows (one goal, one assist) along with expected contributions from the likes of Mike Hoffman and Erik Karlsson. Craig Anderson also enjoyed a strong Monday:

Boston has to be pretty happy about the way things have been going lately (including a solid 8-3-0 mark under Bruce Cassidy), but the edge went to Ottawa tonight.

Bruins’ McQuaid needed 25 stitches after taking skate to the neck

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Scary moment in Saturday’s Boston-New Jersey game when Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was hit in the neck by the skate of teammate David Backes late in the third period.

On Sunday, the Bruins revealed that McQuaid needed 25 stitches as a result of the incident. As bad and as scary as that is, that could have easily been a lot worse, all things considered.  The Bruins expect McQuaid to be able to play on Monday against the Ottawa Senators in what is going to be a massive game in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Said Cassidy on McQuaid being able to play, “he’s a tough customer.”

This is a look at the play that injured McQuaid.

In 60 games this season McQuaid has scored two goals and added six assists for the Bruins while logging more than 17 minutes of ice time per game.

Report: Bruins tried to land Vrbata, Kulikov before deadline

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The Boston Bruins have made a surge up the standings since firing Claude Julien and replacing him with Bruce Cassidy.

GM Don Sweeney tried to reward his team’s effort by making deals for a couple of key rentals, but in the end, he made one trade with Winnipeg for Drew Stafford.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Bruins were interested in Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata and Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

Both players are on teams that likely won’t make the playoffs and they’re both set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. But Arizona and Buffalo decided it was better to keep them than trade them for whatever was on the table.

“They were in on Radim Vrbata, and, at one point, some of the other teams in that bidding thought the Bruins would get him,” wrote Friedman.

‘Yotes general manager John Chayka was reportedly asking for a second-round pick in return for the veteran winger, who’s on pace to hit the 20-goal and 60-point marks. When Chayka’s price wasn’t met, he decided he’d prefer to hold on to Vrbata.

As for Kulikov, he’s been limited to 38 games because of a lower-body injury. Because the Sabres gave up Mark Pysyk, a ’16 second-round pick and a ’16 third-round pick to get Kulikov and a ’16 second-round pick from Florida at the draft, they likely weren’t willing to give him away either.

Even though they appear to have turned their season around, the Bruins still aren’t a lock to make the playoffs. Sweeney was criticized for giving away multiple draft picks at last year’s deadline (he gave up a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick for Lee Stempniak, and a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick for John-Michael Liles) only to see the Bruins miss the playoffs.

If they fall short this season, all they really lost was a sixth-round pick.

Heading into Saturday’s game against the Devils, here’s how they stack up in the East:

east

 

Lundqvist shuts down Bruins

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The Boston Bruins entered Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers as one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

They had won seven out of eight, their offense has been on a roll for more than 20 games now, and they are starting to look like a team that could be pretty dangerous come playoff time … assuming they get in.

On Thursday, they ran into Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist was sensational for the Rangers, stopping 32 of the 33 shots he faced to help lift his team to a 2-1 win.

It was a nice bounce back game for Lundqvist after he gave up nine goals in his past two starts, and given the way the Rangers played for most of the night, they needed it from him after getting outshot by a 33-21 margin. Those past two starts aside, Lundqvist has been nearly unbeatable for the Rangers for more than a month now and is back to playing like the dominant goalie he has been for most of his career after a pretty lengthy slump earlier this season. His overall numbers are still down a bit (.912 save percentage after Thursday) but he is starting to find his game again at just the right time for the Rangers.

While the Rangers didn’t generate a ton of opportunities, they were able to take advantage of the ones they did get and scored a couple of highlight reel goals in the third period.

This first came from Pavel Buchnevich to break what had been a scoreless tie five minutes into the third period with an absolute rocket of a shot.

Just four minutes after that Oscar Lindberg scored his fifth goal of the season on an sensational individual effort to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. That goal would end up going in the books as the game-winner after Brad Marchand scored the Bruins’ lone goal of the night (his 29th of the season).

WATCH LIVE: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins

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Winners of seven of their past eight, the Boston Bruins look to stay hot on Thursday night when they host the New York Rangers.

All of the action can be seen on NBCSN, or on our Live Stream. Puck drop is 7 p.m. ET.

The Bruins enter the night tied for second in the Atlantic Division with the Ottawa Senators with 72 points and are looking to keep pace with the first-place Canadiens.

For the Rangers, Thursday’s game will be the debut of new defenseman Brendan Smith with the team following the trade that brought him to New York from the Detroit Red Wings.

Click here for the Live Stream

Preview: Banged up Rangers look to take down red-hot Bruins