DENVER – Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg each had a goal, Chad Johnson stopped 31 shots for his third career shutout, and the Boston Bruins beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Friday night for their 11th win in a row.
Boston became the first team to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
It is the longest run for the Bruins since a 13-game winning streak in the 1970-71 season. They pushed their point total to 101, the 21st time the team has reached the 100-point threshold.
Colorado pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra attacker with five minutes remaining but couldn’t avert its first shoutout of the season. The Avalanche had scored at least once in 80 straight games since their previous shutout last April 6 at Phoenix.
Colorado, which handed Boston its only shutout of the season on Oct. 10, was the last NHL team to be blanked this season.
RANGERS 3, BLUE JACKETS 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals, and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves to lead the New York Rangers over Columbus.
It was the first game back in Columbus for Rangers star Rick Nash, the Blue Jackets’ franchise leader in goals, assists and games. He was given a standing ovation during a video tribute in the first period, but was booed loud and long after a second-period, two-handed shove up high on Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
Carl Hagelin added an empty-net goal, and defenceman Anton Stralman had two assists for the Rangers, who moved two points ahead of the Blue Jackets in the tight Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference playoff races.
Nick Foligno scored for Columbus, 7-2-2 in its last 11 games. Bobrovsky made 29 saves.
BLACKHAWKS 3, HURRICANES 2
CHICAGO (AP)—Jonathan Toews’ short-handed breakaway goal early in the third period snapped a tie, and Chicago edged Carolina.
Patrick Sharp scored his team-leading 30th goal and Kris Versteeg ended an eight-game drought to help the Blackhawks win without leading scorer Patrick Kane, who was placed on long-term injured reserve after sustaining a lower-body injury on Wednesday.
Corey Crawford made 26 saves.
Alexander Semin scored his 20th and 21st goals as the Hurricanes fought back from a two-goal deficit, but lost to Chicago for the second time this season.
Anton Khudobin stopped 22 shots after a career-best 46 saves in Carolina’s win at Columbus on Tuesday.
Sharp has scored at least 30 goals four times in his career. He has reached the mark in the past three full NHL seasons.
PREDATORS 6, FLAMES 5
CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—Shea Weber scored twice, including the go-ahead goal late in the third period, and Nashville escaped with a one-goal win over Calgary.
Tied 4-4 and with the Predators on the power play, Weber took a perfect pass from Matt Cullen and blasted a high slap shot past Joey MacDonald from the faceoff dot to put Nashville back into the lead at 14:28.
Weber’s 18th goal tied him with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson for second in the NHL among defencemen, one back of Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.
Cullen added his seventh goal of the season at 17:08 on a deflection. That turned out to be the winning goal after Mike Cammalleri’s second of the game 28 seconds later set up a furious final 2 1/2 minutes for the Flames.
Calgary buzzed around the Predators net but couldn’t tie it against backup goalie Carter Hutton.