Now they know they’ll have home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Johnny Boychuk scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:06 left in the third period, Milan Lucic had two goals and the Bruins clinched the conference’s best record with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.
With four games remaining on their schedule, the Bruins have 50 regulation and overtime wins – the league’s first tiebreaker. Second-place Pittsburgh has 44 and can’t catch Boston if it wins the rest of its games.
“You work so hard for that all season, it’s nice we could do it here,” Lucic said.
It was Boston’s league-leading 30th home victory.
The win also moved Boston two points ahead of St. Louis for the NHL’s best record.
The Blues lost to Colorado on Saturday.
Boston coach Claude Julien knows it’s been a good season.
“You just have to look at our record,” he said. “We’re at 113 (points). I think that shows you overall we’ve been a pretty good team. We’ve had struggles at times, but I don’t think there’s an area I’d consider a weakness on the team.”
David Krejci also scored for the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron extended his consecutive point streak to 11 games, setting up Boychuk’s go-ahead score.
Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill scored for the Flyers, who are in a tight race with a group of teams for a playoff spot.
• Boston forward Jarome Iginla was sidelined for the second time in three games, moving Loui Eriksson to the top line.
The team said the first one was because of a lower body injury, but didn’t have injury details of this one before the game. “It’s very minor,” Julien said. “More of a maintenance day.”
AVALANCHE: Semyon Varlamov tied the franchise single-season record for goalie wins held by Colorado coach Patrick Roy and Paul Stastny had another big game in his hometown in a penalty-filled 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Stastny had a goal and two assists and Nathan Mackinnon had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which has won six in a row and has 106 points, third-most in franchise history. Roy became the fifth coach in NHL history to win 50 games in his first season.
Varlamov made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and NHL-leading 40th win, matching Roy’s total in 2000-01.
The Avalanche reached 50 wins for the second time in franchise history and tied the franchise mark with 24 road victories.
The Blues fell two points behind Boston, which beat the Flyers 5-2, for first place overall.
Red Wings: Signed center Luke Glendening to a three-year contract extension.
The Red Wings announced the move Saturday, a day after beating Buffalo to strengthen their position as a wild-card team in the playoffs.
Glendenning has no goals and six assists in 51 games this season as a rookie. With 78 hits and 32 blocked shots, he has earned ice time this season for a team that has been hit hard by injuries.
The 24-year-old Glendening was not drafted after playing at Michigan, where he walked on the team. He went on to play for the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League and the Toledo Walleye in the East Coast Hockey League. Glendening started this season with his hometown Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL.