Bruins beat Stars
Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins kept surging under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, moving up in the race for the playoffs that begin in mid-April.
For defenceman Johnny Oduya and the Dallas Stars, the immediate future is much more uncertain.
Bergeron had two goals and an assist as the Bruins beat Dallas 6-3 Sunday, improving to 6-1 since Cassidy took over for the fired Claude Julien. Boston completed a 3-1 road trip.
“When your best players are your best players, you’re a good hockey club,” Cassidy said. “We’re no different than any other team out there.”
Bergeron has “really found his game and hopefully he stays healthy for us.
“Our top-end guys tonight were winning a lot of pucks and we were able to get on the attack,” Cassidy said.
Bergeron won 16 of 22 faceoffs.
“Right from the get-go I thought we were creating a lot of chances in their zone and using our speed,” Bergeron said. “Brad (Marchand, one goal, two assists) was finding me a lot for great plays, great looks. When they’re going in, sometimes you try not to think too much and put the puck on net.”
Stars coach Lindy Ruff wasn’t surprised.
“Bergeron’s one of the best two-way players. I’ve been around him in a couple Olympics, and he’s a heck of a player. Marchand has gone from mainly known as antagonizer, but he’s really turned himself into a complete player,” Ruff said. Dallas dropped to 24-2810, 12th in the West.
The Stars welcomed back Oduya, who had missed 15 games because of an ankle injury. He might not stay long, because there’s been speculation about him ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline.
“That’s something I’m not going to worry about too much,” Oduya said. “I know what’s going on in this league and how things work. But when that day comes or not, I’ll be prepared for that.”
Stars captain Jamie Benn and Boston forward David Backes began fighting just 2 seconds into the game and drew major penalties.
Boston Bruins centre Riley Nash (front) takes the puck against Dallas Stars centre Tyler Seguin during NHL hockey action in Dallas on Sunday.