Bruins top Rangers, sweep NY weekend

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 01, 2012
When you are already the defending Stanley Cup champions, it takes a whole lot more than a division title to really get the party started. Tim Thomas survived a third-period barrage from the New York Rangers, and Boston held on for a 2-1 victory on Sunday night that clinched the Northeast Division for the Bruins. It also kept the Rangers from wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and gave Boston a long-awaited win over New York - a potential postseason opponent in the coming weeks. The Bruins had dropped all three previous meetings to the Rangers this season, five straight dating to last season, and nine of 11. ''It was an important win for a number of reasons,'' said Thomas, who made 19 saves in the scoreless third period and 33 overall. ''One of those was to show them we're not a pushover team just in case we get matched up in the playoffs.'' The Bruins donned division champion hats in their low-key dressing room. With the win, Boston also secured the No. 2 seed in the East, so it has little else to shoot for other than fine-tuning in the final three regular-season games. ''We're not playing for position in the conference, but we are playing for our own momentum and our confidence,'' Thomas said. ''It's good, but it's not the banner we want. We want something else to go along with it.'' After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, the Bruins stormed back in the second and got just enough offense from Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron to put this one away. Seidenberg tied it, and Bergeron provided the lead for the Bruins, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine games. Boston swept a weekend in New York with victories over the Islanders and Rangers on back-to-back days. ''We were struggling for a couple of months getting a win here and there, but never finding the consistent basis we are used to,'' Seidenberg said. ''We just have to keep this going as we get ready for the playoffs. ''This was very important. We had a lot of frustrating games against them. We put a lot of pucks on the net, and (goalie Henrik) Lundqvist stood on his head. They were doing to us what we usually do to other teams.'' Marian Gaborik scored his 40th goal of the season early in the first period, but the Rangers couldn't muster anything else against the Bruins. Lundqvist made 19 saves for New York, which leads Pittsburgh by five points. New York needs only one point in its final three games to finish first. The Rangers had won four in a row and six of seven. They outshot the Bruins 19-3 in the third period, but couldn't get even. ''These games against Boston ... these are hard games,'' Rangers coach John Tortorella said, ''but I have no problem with how we played. ''If we play like this, we'll find a way to win. Tonight, we didn't, but I think we did a lot of good things.'' Thomas, who got the day off Saturday, is 5-1-1 in his past seven outings. He made the most of the offensive support he got. After Brad Richards lost control of the puck as he attempted to carry it out of his own end, the Bruins worked it back around and set up Seidenberg for a slap shot that beat Lundqvist, who appeared to be briefly screened when players crossed in front of him, at 4:00. Seidenberg returned after a two-game injury absence - the only games he has missed this season. Seidenberg has scored in consecutive games after going 26 straight without a goal. The defenseman has five this season. Bergeron got help from the Rangers in netting his 22nd during a power play with 8:08 left in the second. New York defenseman Dan Girardi had the puck in the corner to the right of Lundqvist, but had it knocked off his stick by Tyler Seguin. He nudged it over to Bergeron, who jammed a shot in at the left post to make it 2-1. ''It took a weird bounce,'' forward Brian Boyle said. ''He threw it on there quick, and that was that. We had plenty of time to come back from that. We weren't discouraged.'' The Rangers' 25th-ranked power play plagued them again as New York went 0 for 3, including a two-man edge for 22 seconds in the third. New York thought its power play was getting in shape after the Rangers scored two man-advantage goals in each of the previous two games for the first time this season. Thomas had a scary moment in the closing minutes when he came far out to play the puck, and fumbled it, but Derek Stepan couldn't put a backhander past him into the vacated net. He also denied Artem Anisimov during the Rangers' late-game push for the tying goal. ''He saved his best for the end,'' Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ''We were on the bench seeing a puck going in, and all of a sudden that pad came right out and made a big save.'' Gaborik gave the Rangers the lead 4:33 in with no assists from his teammates but a big one from Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The 6-foot-9 defenseman fired a shot from the left point that struck teammate Jordan Caron and knocked him to the ice. Gaborik picked up the loose puck and raced out on a breakaway. He beat Thomas, who had skated out above the crease, and excitedly celebrated, crouching to his knees and pumping his arms. ''The goal was a lucky bounce for Gaborik,'' Seidenberg said. ''With his speed, it's impossible to stop him. We kept putting pressure on their net. Once we got that first goal, we found our way into the game and felt more comfortable.'' Gaborik reached 40 goals for the third time in the NHL - all in the past five seasons and twice in three with the Rangers. Notes : Bruins C Gregory Campbell sat out after he was struck in the foot by a puck on Saturday. Seidenberg had been out because of an infection in a cut above his left knee. ... Lundqvist, who made his ninth straight start, was 6-2 in the previous eight.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker