BOSTON – Cheering fans stood and waved gold-and-black towels as the Boston Bruins claimed the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best regular-season record.
The celebration will be a lot bigger if the Bruins achieve their ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup.
We’ve still got to do some work here in order to get the trophy that we all really want, Boston coach Claude Julien said.
David Krejci scored two goals, Patrice Bergeron netted his 30th of the season, and Gregory Campbell got his eighth as the Bruins dominated the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 Saturday in a game between teams at opposite ends of the standings.
It’s the second time the Bruins have won the Presidents’ Trophy, which gives them home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, since the award was instituted for the 1985-86 season.
The Bruins have 117 points, third most in team history behind 121 in 1970-71 and 119 when they won the Stanley Cup in the 1971-72 season. Buffalo’s 51 points are tied for its fewest in a season not shortened by a lockout. Each team has one game left.
We need to play a really strong game and feel good about our game going into the playoffs, Krejci said.
Boston will end its regular-season schedule at New Jersey today. Buffalo will finish at home against the New York Islanders.
Cody Hodgson scored for the Sabres, but Buffalo sustained another blow in a frustrating, injury-plagued season. Starting goalie Matt Hackett was taken from the ice on a stretcher after Boston defenseman Torey Krug fell on his right leg in the crease with 11:35 left.
It doesn’t look good right now, Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said.
Hackett’s leg wasn’t broken, and he was to return with the team to Buffalo to be examined by club medical personnel.
He was replaced by Connor Knapp, the seventh goalie to dress for the Sabres this season. He made his NHL debut and allowed Krejci’s second goal one minute later.
PREDATORS 7, BLACKHAWKS 5: In Nashville, Tenn., Patric Hornqvist scored the go-ahead goal with 58.2 seconds left and Shea Weber added an empty-netter as Nashville rallied with five goals in the third period.
BLUE JACKETS 3, PANTHERS 2: In Sunrise, Fla., Ryan Johansen scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Columbus beat Florida for the eighth straight time.
The Blue Jackets clinched the first wild-card spot and will face Pittsburgh in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
FLYERS 4, PENGUINS 3, OT: In Pittsburgh, Mark Streit beat Marc-Andre Fleury 2:10 into overtime to lift Philadelphia and set up a first-round playoff matchup with the New York Rangers.
CANADIENS 1, RANGERS 0, OT: In Montreal, Brian Gionta scored on a penalty shot at 2:04 of overtime to lift Montreal over New York in the final NHL regular-season game for both teams.
SENATORS 1, MAPLE LEAFS 0: In Ottawa, Jason Spezza scored the game’s only goal and Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.
The Senators tied a season high with their fourth straight win.
SHARKS 3, COYOTES 2: In Glendale, Ariz., Joe Pavelski had two goals to become the fourth player in team history with 40 goals in a season, and San Jose closed out the regular season, handing Phoenix its seventh straight loss.