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21-51-10
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54-19-9

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game recap

Bruins win to clinch Presidents' Trophy

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 4:43 PM

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

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Bruins win to clinch Presidents' Trophy
Buffalo Sabres 1, Boston Bruins 4
Three Stars of the Game
David Krejci
1st
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:14
Tuukka Rask
2nd
SA: 25TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 20-21
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: .960SH: 1-1
Brad Marchand
3rd
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:26

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have bigger goals they hope to achieve in the next couple months, but Saturday afternoon at TD Garden they checked off their last accomplishment of the regular season.

Bruins center David Krejci scored twice and goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres that clinched the Presidents' Trophy for the second time in franchise history.

Boston (54-18-9), which played its final home game of the regular season, will have home-ice advantage as long as it lasts in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy in 1989-90 and have finished first 13 times.

The Bruins, the Atlantic Division champions and top seed in the Eastern Conference, know the road ahead is going to be more difficult than what's in the past.

"Well, I think that after [Sunday], every team is going to start from zero," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. "It's something that we certainly are proud of, if you want to say that. We worked really hard this season and we wanted to play as best we could. And I think we accomplished that.

"But after [Sunday] it's going to go back to square one. No matter what you do in the regular season, you still have to play a certain way to be successful. And you know it's something that you for sure want to follow up on. But you can't be thinking that now you're going to get more room or more respect. It's going to be, I think, even tougher."

Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron, who reached 30 goals for the second time in his career, scored for the Bruins. Bergeron, who scored 31 goals in 2005-06, didn't play in the third period for an undisclosed reason.

"I think we're really proud of what he's accomplished this year," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron, who has a plus-38 rating. "Thirty goals is quite a feat, and for a guy who excels at both ends of the ice even more so. It takes a heck of a player to be able to score 30 and be so reliable defensively and be as strong at both ends of the ice. That's an incredible player in my mind."

The Sabres (21-51-9) lost their sixth in a row. Goaltender Matt Hackett sustained a leg injury in the third period and was taken from the ice on a stretcher.

Hackett, who stopped 20 of 23 shots, collided with Bruins defenseman Torey Krug at 8:25 of the third. Hackett was replaced by Connor Knapp, who made six saves in his NHL debut. He is the sixth goalie to play for the Sabres this season.

The Sabres also lost forwards Chris Stewart (ankle) and Brian Flynn (lower body), and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion) to injury.

"I've never seen anything like that," Buffalo forward Drew Stafford said. "You know to go through that on the bench that's quite a bit of a challenge; just add it to the list this year. I mean we don't want to use any excuses at all for what's going on, but I don't know if that's our ninth goalie or whatever it is, and we are playing basically with two lines for the last half the period."

The Bruins lost their prior two games in shootouts and managed to prevent their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Campbell opened the scoring at 16:54 with an aggressive drive to the net. Jordan Caron drew two defenders to him on the left wall and fed a pass to the front, where Campbell tipped the puck past Hackett for a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Krejci at 18:23. He backhanded a shot past Hackett after a Chara shot rebounded off the end glass and landed out front.

Boston went ahead 3-0 at 11:43 of the second period. Bergeron and Brad Marchand cycled the puck around the right circle. Bergeron completed the play with a one-timer from above the right dot that beat Hackett high to the glove side.

Cody Hodgson scored for the Sabres at 13:58. Mike Weber won a battle along the right wall and fed Hodgson in front for a backhand that beat Rask high.

Krejci's second goal, his 19th of the season, came on a power play at 10:35 of the third period.

"[The Presidents' Trophy] is a nice achievement, that's for sure, but that wasn't our goal going into the season," Krejci said. "So one thing that's good about it is as long as we're in the playoffs we'll be starting at home, so that's good. But we're trying to accomplish something different, so we have one more game [Sunday]. We need to play a really strong game and feel good about our game going into the playoffs."

The Bruins play at the New Jersey Devils on Sunday; the Sabres host the New York Islanders.

scoring summary
1st Period
16:54
BOS
Gregory Campbell (8) ASST: Jordan Caron (2), Shawn Thornton (3)
1 - 0 BOS
18:23
BOS
David Krejci (18) ASST: Zdeno Chara (23), Milan Lucic (35)
2 - 0 BOS
2nd Period
11:43
BOS
Patrice Bergeron (30) ASST: Brad Marchand (27), Torey Krug (25)
3 - 0 BOS
13:58
BUF
Cody Hodgson (20) ASST: Marcus Foligno (11), Mike Weber (8)
3 - 1 BOS
3rd Period
10:35
BOS
PPG - David Krejci (19) ASST: Torey Krug (26), Tuukka Rask (2)
4 - 1 BOS
penalty summary
1st Period
14:22
BUF
Cory Conacher  Tripping against  Brad Marchand
2nd Period
07:40
BOS
Milan Lucic  Roughing against  Matt D'Agostini
09:58
BUF
John Scott  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Milan Lucic
09:58
BUF
John Scott  Roughing against  Milan Lucic
09:58
BOS
Zdeno Chara  Hi stick - double minor against  John Scott
09:58
BUF
John Scott  Misconduct (10 min)
3rd Period
07:17
BOS
Gregory Campbell  Roughing against  Jake McCabe
07:17
BUF
Jake McCabe  Game misconduct against  Daniel Paille
07:17
BUF
Jake McCabe  Interference (maj) against  Daniel Paille
12:42
BOS
Shawn Thornton  Tripping against  Rasmus Ristolainen
16:20
BUF
John Scott  Misconduct (10 min) against  Zdeno Chara
16:20
BOS
Zdeno Chara  Misconduct (10 min) against  John Scott
goalie stats
Matt Hackett
Matt Hackett
1-6-1
SA: 23TOI: 48:25
Saves: 20EV: 20 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0
Connor Knapp
Connor Knapp
SA: 7TOI: 11:35
Saves: 6EV: 3 - 3
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .857SH: 1 - 1
Tuukka Rask
SA: 25TOI: 60:00
Saves: 24EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .960SH: 1 - 1