Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Milan Lucic scored twice as the Boston Bruins grabbed top seed in the Eastern Conference after beating the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2, Saturday at TD Garden.
Lucic finished with three points, Johnny Boychuk added a goal, Loui Eriksson had four assists while Tuukka Rask recorded 24 saves to help the Bruins (53-18-7) avoid losing three in a row for the first time this season.
With the victory, the Bruins will head into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as Atlantic Division champions.
Ray Emery made 37 saves for the Flyers (39-29-9), whose winless streak reached four games (0-2-2).
Philadelphia, third in the Metropolitan Division, was shut out in its prior two games and scored its two goals 1:45 apart late in the second period.
David Krejci and Lucic combined for the Bruins’ first goal, despite playing without usual right wing Jarome Iginla, who sat out for the second time in three games with an undisclosed injury.
Lucic earned the secondary assist on Krejci’s goal at 15:56 of the first period. After Lucic dished to Iginla’s fill-in, Loui Eriksson, the right wing landed a couple shots on Emery before Krejci finally fired the puck into the back of the net from the right side of the slot.
In the second, Wayne Simmonds backhanded the puck past Rask at 14:36 to tie the game 1-1. The goal snapped a Flyers scoreless streak of 165:01 dating to Sunday against the Bruins in Philadelphia.
Nineteen seconds later, Lucic put the Bruins back ahead with a one-timer from the high slot at 14:55 off a feed from Krejci.
Jay Rosehill’s second goal of the season tied the score 2-2. Michael Raffl found Rosehill open on the goal line to the right of the net and he walked the goal line and spun a low shot under Rask’s right pad at 16:21 to tie the score.
Boychuk scored the go-ahead goal with 6:06 remaining with a shot from the right point after Patrice Bergeron beat Vincent Lecavalier clean on a faceoff at the right dot.
A half-minute later, Lucic threw the puck toward the net and it deflected past Emery for a 4-2 Boston lead. Chris Kelly scored an empty-net goal.
The Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres Sunday. The Bruins play the Minnesota Wild Tuesday.