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NHL Game Summary - Boston at Phoenix
(Saturday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Boston 4, Phoenix 2
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins had clinched a playoff spot on Friday, but that didn't slow them down on Saturday.
Shawn Thornton scored the game-winner late in the third period and Boston won its 12th straight game with a 4-2 victory over Phoenix.
The Bruins became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with Friday's 2-0 blanking of Colorado, and the team has now ripped off its longest winning streak since a 13-game run from Feb. 23-March 20, 1971.
The team has twice won 13 games in a row, with the other occurring from Dec. 3, 1929-Jan. 9, 1930, under head coach Art Ross.
Also, the victory pushed the team two points ahead of St. Louis for the best record in the NHL.
"We don't want any easy games, we want to get better as a team and this was the kind of game where you can do that," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "Tonight, in my mind, it showed our character where we came back in the third and won it."
Jarome Iginla scored twice and Patrice Bergeron had the other marker for the Bruins, who got 30 saves from Tuukka Rask.
Shane Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for the Coyotes, who had a three- game winning streak stopped. Mike Smith stopped 24-of-27 shots.
"We let them hang around too much," said Doan. "We didn't play as well in the third as we did in the first. Give them credit, they found ways to win a game."
Boston trailed by a goal entering the third period, but tied the contest at 3:48 as Zdeno Chara blasted a shot from the high slot that Iginla deflected in from in front.
The Bruins then took the lead with 3:18 to play after Daniel Paille threw it on net from the left boards and Thornton re-directed it past Smith for a 3-2 lead.
Iginla put the puck into the open net with under 30 seconds to play to seal the victory.
The Bruins got on the board at 3:25 when Bergeron notched his 22nd marker of the season, but Doan tied the game eight minutes later with his 20th of the season.
Phoenix scored the only goal of the second period, and did so just 39 seconds in on the power play as Ekman-Larsson skated through the middle, made a slick move to get around the defender and put home his own rebound for a 2-1 lead.
Boston will look to tie its franchise record at home against Montreal on Monday ... Phoenix hits the road for three games starting in New York against the Rangers on Monday ... The Bruins have won four straight against the Coyotes ... Phoenix went 1-for-3 on the power play while Boston was 0-for-3.
03/23 01:01:44 ET
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