NHL: OK- this has to be seen to be believed...and since yours truly just figured out the magic of video embedding, have a look for yourselves [UPDATE! It's so awesome, I had to tweak this blog's format to accommodate the video- NANESB!].
The Bruins headed into today's game poised to clinch one of the final three playoff spots on the Eastern Conference. This afternoon, they hosted the Carolina Hurricanes at the Garden, and late in a scoreless 1st period, Matt Hunwick was sent to the sin bin for a hooking minor with 18 seconds remaining. Hunwick's penalty carried over into the second to give Carolina a 1:42 man advantage- in theory.
The Bruins would start the 2nd period getting goals from Daniel Paille, Blake Wheeler and Steve Begin in a span of 64 seconds- and all while Carolina was still on the power play! This would be the first time that an NHL team would score three shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill.
However, Carolina was determined to make a game of it and got on the board when Erik Cole scored on a wraparound with five and a half minutes left in the second and Patrick Dwyer's wrister from the slot beat Rask to make it a one-goal game with just over two and a half minutes remaining in the 2nd.
(John Wilcox/Boston Herald)
Early on in the third, Patrice Bergeron showed alot of hustle and saved the Bruins proverbial bacon when he raced back to an empty net to prevent an errant Blake Wheeler feed from becoming an own-goal. Rask was pulled when a delayed penalty was called against Carolina early in the 3rd and Wheeler tossed the puck back to the point while the defense was changing. The buck bounced off the boards and trickled towards the net with Bergeron racing seemingly out of nowhere to prevent it from crossing the goal line. Milan Lucic but the game out of reach with a minute left in the 3rd with an empty-netter to give Boston the 4-2 win, good for 89 points overall.The Bruins win coupled with the Montreal's 3-4 Overtime loss to Toronto tonight clinches the #6 spot for Boston (regardless of what happens tomorrow in the game against Washington). The loss was Montreal's final regular season game. Tied at 86 points each, the Philadelphia Flyers and NY Rangers will go head-to-head tomorrow to determine who gets the final playoff spot in the east.
Elsewhere in the NHL: Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke got knocked the fuck out. Better late than never. Somebody get Atlanta's Evander Kane an Omaha Steaks gift basket.
NCAA MEN'S HOCKEY: Eagles goaltender John Muse led Boston College to a 5-0 shutout over the Wisconsin Badgers for the NCAA Men's Hockey Championship at Detroit's Ford Field on Saturday. Muse turned aside 20 shots, giving him an 8-0 record in the tournament over the past 3 seasons. Cam Atkinson got BC on the board first and had two tallies altogether.
The win gives BC it's second men's hockey title since 2008 and avenges the 2006 Championship loss to the Badgers. A record-setting crowd of 37,592 was on hand at Ford Field in Detroit, MI to watch the final.
MLB: After dropping Friday night's game at Kauffman stadium in Kansas City, the Red Sox were lookng to snap their 3 game losing streak as Josh Beckett was matched up against 2009 AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. Saturday's game was noteworthy in that this was they first time we got to see Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell start, with both of them making the most of their appearances.
The Royals got on the board first with a Rick Ankiel RBI single in the bottom of the first. Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek managed to belt back to back solo homers off of the KC starter in the top of the 5th to take a 2-1 lead. Jacoby Ellsbury had a 1-out RBI double in the top of the 7th and Dustin Pedroia would get Ellsbury home on a sac-fly to put Boston up 4-2.
However, Kansas City would rally. Beckett would give up a leadoff double and single before KC would get a run on a double-play ball to start off the bottom of the 7th before Beckett, his teammates, Red Sox management and Red Sox Nation got a scare when a David De Jesus RBI line drive single grazed the back of Beckett's head (replay showed the ball changing direction). Beckett would escape any further damage on a Scott Podsednik groundout.
The Red Sox would go on to get some insurance on a Youkilis homerun in the top of the 8th and another solo homerun by Varitek and a 2 run homer off the bat of Dustin Pedroia.
Boston wins 8-3 and snaps their 3-game skid. Tomorrow's game will feature Clay Buccholz against Gil Meche before the Sox are slated to travel to the Twin Cities to christen Target Field on Monday (that matchhup is supposed to feature Jon Lester against Carl Pavano).
NBA: Fresh off their loss against the Washington Wizards, the Celtics bounced right back in a fairly ornery contest against Milwaukee Saturday night. Paul Pierce led the Celtics scoring with 24 points along with 6 rebounds in Boston's 105-90 win.
There's two games remaining in the C's regular season- a road game against Chicago and the final home game, which is against the Milwaukee Bucks again.