Best of NHL: Rask Gets Shutout as Bruins Win Third Straight

BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask made 27 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and the Boston Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Thursday night.

Boston won its third straight and stayed three points ahead of Tampa Bay for third place in the Atlantic Division with one game in hand.

Rask has won two straight since struggling for a stretch. He had allowed 18 goals during a four-game losing streak.

Brad Marchand gave Boston a 1-0 lead when he jammed a shot past goalie Antti Niemi at 15:14 of the first period.

Niemi had 22 saves and is now winless in his last five appearances.

Torey Krug added an insurance goal early in the second period when he converted a perfect feed from David Pastrnak (see full recap).

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Byron, Canadiens beat Panthers 6-2 to clinch playoff spot
MONTREAL -- Paul Byron scored twice, Brendan Gallagher had a goal and three assists, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Florida Panthers 6-2 on Thursday night to clinch a playoff spot.

Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and Phillip Danault also scored for Montreal (44-24-9). Carey Price made 29 saves for his 36th victory of the season.

The Canadiens will play in the postseason for the fourth time in the past five years, and for the eighth time in the last decade.

Reilly Smith and Michael Matheson scored for the Panthers (33-33-11) (see full recap).

Maple Leafs beat Predators 3-1 for 5th win in 6 games
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews each scored a power-play goal, and Frederik Andersen made 29 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Thursday night.

Connor Brown added an empty-net goal with 58.4 seconds left as the Maple Leafs started a three-game road trip by sweeping the season series with Nashville. They also won their second straight and fifth in six games to remain in third place in the Atlantic Division.

Filip Forsberg scored his 30th of the season for Nashville. The Predators have lost two straight after a four-game winning streak.

Toronto is trying to hold off Boston, while the Predators needed a win to leapfrog St. Louis into third place in the Central Division. Nashville came in three points shy of its third straight playoff berth under coach Peter Laviolette (see full recap).

Lightning get 2 power-play goals, beat Red Wings 5-3
TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Killorn and Jonathan Drouin scored power-play goals 1:51 apart late in the second period and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 on Thursday night.

J.T. Brown, Andrej Sustr and Yanni Gourde also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves.

Tampa Bay, which played without 38-goal scorer Nikita Kucherov due to illness, swept the five-game season series with the Red Wings.

Detroit got goals from Frans Nielsen, Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green. Petr Mrazek stopped 26 shots.

After Sustr put Tampa Bay up 2-1 early in the second, DeKeyser was involved in the final three goals of the period (see full recap).

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