Boston extend their NHL lead

Zdeno Chara snatches victory for the Boston Bruins in a 3-2 thriller against the New York Rangers.

Zdeno Chara reacts after scoring against the  Rangers [Reuters/ Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports]
Zdeno Chara reacts after scoring against the Rangers [Reuters/ Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports]

The Boston Bruins have maintained their lead at the top of the NHL eastern conference after a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.

Tension was high between the two high-profile sides at a sold-out TD garden on Friday night.

Boston came back from a goal down to tie the match at 2-2 in the third period, with Patrice Bergeron the scorer.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara then fired in a shot with 9 minutes left on the clock to snatch victory.

Meanwhile, San Jose’s Brent Burns has scored his first NHL hat-trick, as the Sharks beat the St Louis Blues 6-3.

St. Louis defenceman Barret Jackman turned the puck over 35 seconds into the clash.

Logan Couture swept it to Patrick Marleau and Marleau set up Burns for a one-timer from the slot. The former defenceman had his sixth goal of the season.

The Sharks struck again two-and-a-half minutes later with a power-play goal. Couture took a shot that bounced off Elliott’s pad and Joe Pavelski flipped it out to Joe Thornton, who beat Elliott to the glove side.

Today was a little weird. A lot of food and then no skate this morning. I had to sweat it out.

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks right-winger

Thornton’s second goal in as many games was the first power-play goal allowed by the Blues in six games and just the second on the road this season.

San Jose kept on scoring. Nine minutes into the period they rushed down the ice and Tomas Hertl passed over to Thornton. The Sharks captain saw Burns was open and set him up for his second goal of the game.

The Sharks made it a four-goal frame on a goal by Tommy Wingels. Wingels picked up a flubbed pass to Jay Bouwmeester and rushed down the right wing.

He finally took a shot at the face-off dot and the puck rolled off of Elliott’s leg, off his shoulder and into the net. The Blues, who had been 10-1-1 in their last 12 and on a five-game win streak, trailed 4-0. Elliott allowed the four goals on 12 shots and was lifted for Jaroslav Halak.

The move helped change St. Louis’ fortunes and they scored three times in succession.

Ian Cole broke the shut-out in the second period, and goals by David Backes and Jaden Schwartz in the third period pulled them back within one of their opponents.

The Blues had a two-on-one rush 11 minutes into the final frame and Vladimir Sobotka set up Schwartz for a shot past Antti Niemi.

Schwartz, who had assisted in Cole’s goal as well, has a six-game point streak with three goals and four assists over that span.

St. Louis’ comeback came to a close on a power-play goal from Burns. Exactly one minute after Schwartz scored, Burns completed his hat-trick with a wrist shot past Halak.

It was his eighth goal of the year and the fifth allowed by the Blues in the game – they had allowed five total in their five previous games.

Hertl added an empty net goal in the final minute to make it 6-3 – and the Sharks won their fourth straight game and the seventh of their last eight.

“Today was a little weird,” Burns told the San Jose Marcury news.

“A lot of food and then no skate this morning. I had to sweat it out.”

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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