CHICAGO (AP) — Backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 41 saves and the Boston Bruins held off the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday for their fifth straight victory.
Ryan Spooner, Patrice Bergeron and Kevan Miller scored for the Bruins, who jumped over idle Toronto and Ottawa into second place in the Atlantic Division. Boston began the day in wild-card position, four points ahead of Tampa Bay for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago’s Artemi Panarin extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with his 29th. Jordin Tootoo also scored for the Blackhawks, who got 26 saves from Corey Crawford in their final regular-season home game.
The Blackhawks clinched first place in the Central Division and Western Conference on Saturday when Minnesota lost at Nashville. Chicago is assured of home-ice advantage through the first three playoff rounds.
Khudobin was sharp as the Bruins rested No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask in their final regular-season road game.
Boston led 2-0 after the first period despite being outshot 16-11.
Spooner opened the scoring 6:34 in by deflecting Zdeno Chara’s bouncing shot from the left point for his 12th goal.
The Blackhawks turned up the pressure later in the period, but Khudobin made a series of close-in saves — including dandies on Marian Hossa and Panarin — to keep Chicago off the board.
Bergeron fired in his 21st goal on a power play from beyond the top of the right circle to make it 2-0. He beat Crawford high to the stick side after taking a pass from Brad Marchand, who had stolen the puck at center ice.
Panarin cut it to 2-1 with 1:48 left in the second on the Blackhawks’ 25th shot to cap a fluky play that withstood a video review.
Chicago’s Brent Seabrook fired from the right point, but the drive went wide and bounded of the back boards. At the same time, Blackhawks forward Richard Panik slid into the net behind Khudobin, who had ranged out for Seabrook’s shot.
Panarin fired the loose puck from just left of the net, but the shot struck Panik — who was curled up in the net — and bounced out. Panarin then popped in the rebound before Khudobin could recover, with Panik still in the net.
Panik was awarded an assist on the play.
Miller extended Boston’s lead to 3-1 at 9:15 of the third on a nice move and quick shot from the left circle that sailed past Crawford’s glove.
Tootoo trimmed it to 3-2 just 25 seconds later when he was left alone in the crease and slid John Hayden’s centering pass between Khudobin’s pads.
Khudobin was tested in the final 1:33 with Crawford on the bench for an extra attacker.
NOTES: Chicago C Artem Anisimov missed his 10th game (lower body), but coach Joel Quenneville said he expected the 22-goal scorer to resume skating on Monday. … Spooner’s goal was his first since March 4, a span that saw him miss three games with a concussion. . Boston forward Frank Vatrano missed his third game with an upper-body injury and forward Jimmy Hayes sat out after sustaining a lower-body injury Saturday against Florida. . Sean Kuraly was recalled from Providence of the AHL to take Hayes’ spot. . The Blackhawks have a chance to break their franchise record of 112 points, set in 2009-10 when they went on to win the first of three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons.
Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game homestand to close out the regular season.
Blackhawks: At the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night to start a three-game trip that wraps up the regular season. Chicago has 24 road wins, matching the team record.
(Copyright (c) 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)