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(Saturday, April 12th)
Final Score: Boston 4, Buffalo 1
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - David Krejci scored twice and Tuukka Rask made 24 saves, as the Boston Bruins clinched the Presidents' Trophy with a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at TD Garden.
Patrice Bergeron netted his 30th goal and Gregory Campbell also scored for the Bruins, who were coming off shootout losses in each of their last two games and locked up home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins will play Detroit in the opening round after Columbus beat Florida later Saturday to clinch the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Boston, which will finish with the best record in the NHL for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign, will close the regular season on Sunday in New Jersey before starting the playoffs at home next week. The Bruins were 8-0-1 in their last nine at home and finished 31-7-3 at TD Garden.
"It's a nice achievement," said Krejci about the Presidents' Trophy, "but we're trying to accomplish something different."
Cody Hodgson scored the lone goal for the Sabres, who will host the New York Islanders on Sunday to close the disastrous 2013-14 season. Buffalo, which has lost six in a row, will finish with the worst record in the NHL.
Sabres goaltender Matt Hackett was taken off the ice on a stretcher midway through the third period with an apparent leg injury after stopping 20 shots.
Boston's Torey Krug was charging toward the net and was checked into the crease before falling onto the outstretched right leg of the goaltender with 11:35 remaining in the contest. Hackett remained on the ice and was immobilized before being lifted onto a stretcher and carted into the locker room.
The Sabres said after the game that Hackett never left the arena and was set to return to Buffalo with the team, although the initial prognosis was not a positive one.
"It doesn't look good right now," said Sabres coach Ted Nolan. "We'll wrap him up as best we can, get him back home, have our doctors look at him."
Four other Sabres were hurt during the contest. Nolan said defenseman Christian Ehrhoff suffered a mild concussion, while forwards Chris Stewart, Brian Flynn and Matt D'Agostini all sustained lower-body injuries. None are expected to play Sunday in the finale.
Boston grabbed a 2-0 lead with goals 89 seconds apart late in the first period. Campbell deflected a Jordan Caron feed from the left boards through Hackett for his eighth goal and Krejci sent a backhand into an open net for his 18th after Zdeno Chara's point blast caromed off the back boards with 1:37 left in the stanza.
Bergeron made it 3-0 with 8:17 left in the second period, scoring on a shot from the right circle that made its way through a screened Hackett.
Buffalo finally answered with 6:02 to play in the period on a backhander by Hodgson, who notched his first career 20-goal season.
After Connor Knapp replaced the injured Hackett in the third, the Bruins regained a three-goal cushion on a power-play goal from Krejci. His shot from the center point ricocheted off the back boards and clipped the back of Knapp's skate before going into the net.
"I thought we played more like us and we need to play that way heading into the playoffs," said Chara. "The last two games weren't like we're used to seeing and I think we played much better (today)."
Bergeron, who sat out Thursday's game against Winnipeg, did not play in the third period. He notched his second career 30-goal season and is one shy of his career best of 31 set during the 2005-06 season. He has a point in each of his last 13 games played with 11 goals and six assists in that span ... The Bruins also lost forward Daniel Paille after he took a hit from Buffalo's Jake McCabe, who was given a game misconduct in addition to an interference penalty ... Krug, celebrating his 23rd birthday, notched two assists ... Knapp made his NHL debut and became the sixth different Buffalo goaltender to see action this season. He stopped six shots in relief of Hackett ... The Bruins improved to 14-2-1 in matinees this season and finished 3-1-1 against Buffalo in 2013-14.
04/12 21:33:45 ET
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