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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)

Boston Bruins (48-17-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (34-25-11), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to record a fourth straight win on Saturday to help boost their playoff odds.

The Boston Bruins already have clinched a postseason berth, but will take aim at a 12th consecutive victory when they visit the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

Phoenix enters Saturday with 79 points, giving the club a four-point edge over Dallas for the second of the Western Conference's two wild card spots. The Stars, who host Ottawa on Saturday, do hold a game in hand over the Coyotes in the race for the West's final postseason berth.

Vancouver is five points behind the Coyotes and Winnipeg is one point further back in the heated battle for the second wild card spot. The Canucks are off on Saturday, while the Jets host Carolina.

The Coyotes picked up a third straight win in Thursday's 2-1 home decision against the Florida Panthers. Mike Smith made 22 saves to help Phoenix pick up the valuable points.

Smith has fueled Phoenix's push to the playoffs, going 9-5-1 with a .937 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average over his last 15 games. He is 3-7-0 with a 2.48 GAA and .914 save percentage in 10 lifetime appearances against Boston.

Radim Vrbata and Antoine Vermette scored in the first period for the Coyotes, who trail Minnesota by four points for the first wild card spot in the West.

The Bruins, meanwhile, became the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season when they picked up an 11th straight win by blanking the Colorado Avalanche, 2-0, on Friday night.

Backup goaltender Chad Johnson gave Tuukka Rask a rest and earned his third career shutout with a 31-save performance.

"I definitely had some bad rebounds and those guys did a great job cleaning it up for me," Johnson said.

Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg scored for the Bruins, who last won 11 straight during a 13-game run from Feb. 23-March 20, 1971.

Boston also tied St. Louis for the most points in the league with 101. The Blues hold a game in hand over the Bruins and play Saturday in Philadelphia.

The B's lead the Eastern Conference by six points over Pittsburgh, which hosts Tampa Bay on Saturday. The Lightning trail Boston by 16 points for the Atlantic Division lead.

The Bruins recorded a 2-1 home win over the Coyotes on March 13, as Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla notched first-period goals and Rask stopped 21-of-22 shots for the win.

Boston has won three straight meetings in this series overall and has claimed two of the last three encounters in the desert.

The Coyotes are 21-11-3 as the host this season and have won four in a row at Jobing.com Arena.

Rask expects to start Saturday for Boston. The Finnish netminder is 2-1-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .925 save percentage in three career games against Phoenix.

03/22 10:54:24 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
9th
DET 3
OAK 2
 
3rd
HOU 1
BAL 0
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR