x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Talk spurs Savard to a hat-trick

The hero for Boston Bruins credits coach for an inspiring speech which propelled him to a hat-trick and helped sink the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Marc Savard was the hero for the Boston Bruins as his hat-trick on Saturday night helped sink the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-2. Savard scored in all three periods as the Bruins bounced back emphatically from the 5-1 defeat to the Montreal Canadiens on the previous day. He later praised the Bruins coach Claude Julien for an inspiring talk before the game. "Claude's pre-game speech was probably one of the best I have ever heard," he said.

"It really fired us up early. It was special. So I think the guys reacted and gave it a good 60-minute effort." The Leafs coach Ron Wilson was naturally a disappointed man. He said: "You have to compete and our defence didn't. That's about all I have to say. We stunk and we'll move on." Meanwhile, rookie defenceman Victor Hedman scored his first NHL goal and Mike Smith made 30 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning past the New York Islanders 4-0.

Hedman completed the scoring in the final period, while Smith recorded his first shut-out this season and ninth in the NHL as the Lightning ended a run of four defeats. The Philadelphia Flyers out-shot the Washington Capitals 36-30, but it was the latter who proved more accurate as they triumphed 8-2. Daymond Langkow and Olli Jokinen scored as the Calgary Flames held on to beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in the clash of division leaders.

Kris Versteeg scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks snapped the Pittsburgh Penguins' five-game home winning streak with a 2-1 victory - their 10th in 13 games. Erik Cole's hat-trick helped the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3, while the Colorado Avalanche inflicted an eighth defeat in nine games on the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 3-2 success.

* With agencies