The Boston Bruins were able to keep their consecutive point streak alive, now at 17 games with at least one point following a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils in Boston last night.
Boston clawed back from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to beat a Devils team that recently held a player's only meeting to address a rough stretch in which they've won just twice in regulation in their last ten games.
Riley Nash scored Boston's first goal and Patrice Bergeron notched his 20th of the season on the power play to tie the game at two, and the winning goal came with just about 30 seconds to go in the second period on a beautiful two on one rush started when David Pastrnak poked the puck ahead from his own zone off the boards to Brad Marchand, who had David Krejci available on the left wing. But Marchand held the puck and kept feigning a pass to Krejci to keep the New Jersey defender between the two and kept dangling that puck to the point that he froze Devils goalie Corey Schneider, who couldn't guess if Marchand would pass or shoot. In the end, the Bruins leading goal scorer slipped a backhand calmly behind Schneider for his 21st goal of the season. Tuukka Rask made 37 saves, 20 in the first period alone to get the win in net.
The Bruins haven't lost a game in regulation in more than a month, and are somewhat quietly moving themselves into a conversation that started the year talking about whether the team could make the playoffs, to getting solidly into the wild card chase, to talk of being a Stanley Cup contender. Stay tuned.
The Montreal Canadiens are not near the playoffs, the talk in Quebec mostly being about whether the Habs will be full-on sellers before the trade deadline next month and whether Claude Julien will be sacked for the team's struggles, but they did get a big win last night against one of the hottest teams in the league.
The Colorado Avalanche came into the Bell Centre on a ten-game winning streak, but Jonathan Drouin had a goal and two assists to lead Montreal to a 4-2 win. Nicolas Deslauriers, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher also tallied for the Habs, and Montreal's much-maligned defensive corps played a strong game, with Carey Price facing just 22 shots, 20 of which he turned away in the win.
And out on the left coast the Anaheim Ducks scored four goals in the first period in a 6-3 rout of the NY Rangers.
To the NBA, and the Boston Celtics are in unfamiliar territory, now losers of four in a row following a 108-107 loss to their ancient rivals the L.A. Lakers at the Staples Center last night. Kyle Kuzma put on a show in the 4th quarter, scoring 17 points in the final frame, but the Celtics still had a chance to win, Marcus Smart's 3-point attempt missing the mark at the buzzer. Kyrie Irving led Boston with 33 points but it wasn't enough as the Celtics are now on their longest losing skid in nearly two years.
And one other NBA note, LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 point plateau for his amazing career in Cleveland's loss to the San Antonio Spurs last night.
In women's college hoops the Saint Michael's Purple Knights were hoping to run their winning streak to three, but Le Moyne College got in the way, beating St. Mike's 61-38 at the Ross Sports Center. Samantha Delaney led the Purple Knights with 12 points in the loss.
The Johnson State Badgers also ran into a rough opponent and got steamrolled by Colby-Sawyer 78-30 despite a strong game from Mariah Ramos who scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Norwich Cadets also had trouble protecting the house, falling to Emmanuel 60-41 in Northfield. Most of the offense for the Cadets came from Thetford Center's Shyann Josler on a 19-point effort.
The Lyndon State Hornets also got a big offensive night from one player, but she needed more help than she got. Mikayla Hodge recorded a double double against New England College with 25 points to go with 13 rebounds in a 65-56 loss in New Hampshire last night.
On the men's hardcourt, Le Moyne was a winner against St. Michael's, an 82-56 setback despite a 17-point night from Levi Holmes III.
Suffolk topped Norwich 74-59, using a 16-0 run at the end of the first half to pull away. Northfield native Ryan Booth did finish with a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Jesse Davis returned from an injury to record a team-high 14 points for the Cadets, who fall to 6-9 with the loss.
Turnovers plagued Lyndon State, the Hornets turning the ball over 36 times in a 90-56 loss to New England College, and Colby-Sawyer beat Johnson State 68-44 despite a strong game on the boards from Donnell Shaw, who pulled down 12 rebounds.
Finally, at the Australian Open tennis tournament, the defending champ Roger Federer has breezed into the semi-finals with a straight set victory over Tomas Berdych, and Federer doesn't have to worry about a showdown with Rafael Nadal, who dropped out of his match in the fifth set against Marin Cilic yesterday after suffering an injury.
The Cinderella run for Tennys Sandgren is over, the 96th ranked Tennessee native bowing out to Hyeon Chung in straight sets, who had earlier beaten Novak Djokovic, and the women's final four is set with Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Elise Mertens all ready to vie for the title.