x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Boston Bruins clinch NHL play-off spot

The Boston Bruins win 2-1 on the road in Philadelphia to secure their play-off position with seven games in the regular season to go.

PHILADLEPHIA // The Boston Bruins clinched a play-off berth with a 2-1 away win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Brad Marchand scored Boston's second power-play goal, gathering a rebound in front of the Flyers goal and sliding the puck past a sprawled Brian Boucher with 3:43 remaining to secure victory.

"I thought the puck was moving well on our power play and we weren't finishing and we need to be a little bit better around the net with those rebounds," said Claude Julien, the Bruins coach.

"That's exactly what happened tonight. We pounced on those loose pucks and finished it."

Kris Versteeg opened the scoring for Philadelphia in the first period, steering a slap-pass from Mike Richards past the Bruins goalkeeper Tim Thomas.

Nathan Horton responded for Boston in the second period, slapping in a rebound just four seconds into a Bruins power-play.

Horton's goal energised the Bruins and Flyers goalie Brian Boucher made several key saves in the second period to keep the score tied, while Thomas was equally good in the third.

"The first period, we felt pretty good. We had some passion and some energy," said the Flyers defenceman Andrej Meszaros.

"After that, it just disappeared for some reason. They did everything better than us."

Boston (42-23-10) holds a 14-point advantage over ninth-placed Carolina in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining in the regular season.

The Bruins lead the Northeast division with 94 points and trail the conference-leading Flyers by six.