Bruins maintain four-point edge in playoff race, hand Coyotes ninth straight loss

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The Florida Panthers put pressure on Boston with their 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres this afternoon. Boston responded with a 4-1 win over Arizona to maintain its four-point edge in the battle for a Wild Card spot.

Milan Lucic put the Bruins ahead early with his 13th goal of the season. Brad Marchand added to that lead with what proved to be the game-winner at 14:13 of the first period.

Captain Zdeno Chara snapped his four-game point drought by scoring a goal and an assist Saturday. Reilly Smith got two helpers to give him 35 points in 62 contests.

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 31 of 32 shots and came within half a period of earning his third shutout of the season.

Arizona has now lost nine straight games — all in regulation — as it hovers just above the Edmonton Oilers and the second lowest spot in the NHL standings. As previously noted, the difference between the 28th and 29th places are big when it comes to the possibility of getting Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.