Ryder helps B’s clinch division, eliminate Thrashers

Posted: 02/04/2011 in NHL

Two for one: Bruins clinch Northeast, end Thrashers playoff hopes

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Michael Ryder scored on a penalty shot in the third period, and the Boston Bruins clinched the Northeast Division title with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at TD Garden.

A bad Atlanta turnover in the neutral zone led to a breakaway for Ryder, who was hauled down from behind by Thrashers defenseman Johnny Oduya, triggering the penalty shot on which Ryder snapped the puck past Ondrej Pavelec with 7:29 remaining.

Mark Recchi and Daniel Paille also tallied for the Bruins, who secured their second division crown in three seasons. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves to improve to 6-2-1 in his last nine starts.

Boston still has its sights set on the top seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing Philadelphia by only three points with four games to play.

Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane lit the lamp for Atlanta, which was officially eliminated from postseason contention. Pavelec stopped 20 shots in defeat.

Recchi opened the scoring 4:34 into the contest, pushing home a rebound off Atlanta defenseman Zach Bogosian’s skate. The Thrashers tied it on Byfuglien’s one-timer from the point on a power play with 8:49 left in the first period.

Kane jumped on a loose puck in the low slot to put Atlanta up 2-1 at 1:37 of the second period, but Paille pumped home a short-handed goal to draw the Bruins even at 6:18 of the middle frame.

– Steve

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