BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24: Boston Bruins fans cheere after a goal in the third period against the Montreal Canadiens on March 24, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 7-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

NHL Scores And More: Zdeno Chara, Bruins Crush Montreal As Habs Send Wrong Message

The Habs wanted to send a message on Thursday night against Boston. Consider it undelivered.

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Canadiens Vs. Bruins: Zdeno Chara, Boston Embarrass Montreal, 7-0

It was all about retribution for the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. Answering the bell, stepping up and showing the Boston Bruins that they can hang with their Northeast Division rivals, and they'd be lying if they said part of it wasn't personal as well in the aftermath of the whole Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty mess.

Well, uh, time to look in the mirror. 

Gregory Campbell kicked the extra point with under seven minutes remaining in the third period as the Boston Bruins absolutely stomped the Habs from start to finish, winning 7-0. Chara, a.k.a. Public Enemy No. 1, was named the first star of the game by the Boston media after a three assist night.

Campbell and Horton each scored two goals, while Milan Lucic and David Krejci finished the night in the three assist club with Chara. There was no physical play, for the most part, and at least relative to the last two meetings between these teams. Campbell fought Paul Mara in the second period, but aside from that, it was a pretty calm game. 

That usually happens, of course, when one team is too embarrassed to even get angry.

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Sharks Vs. Kings: Dustin Brown Scores Twice, Gives L.A. Shootout Win

Dustin Brown scored two goals for the Los Angeles Kings (plus the shootout winner) while Antti Niemi made 35 saves for San Jose in a tight-checking, entertaining battle between two playoff-bound teams in the Western Conference. So okay, that's not official just yet for either team, but we can be pretty comfortable making the assumption at this point.

The Kings came out on top in the shootout to earn two vital points in that Western race, bringing their total to 90, four points ahead of ninth-place Dallas. The assurance that the Kings will be in the playoffs is a shaky one, admittedly, but it's a position of comfort based on the way they're playing right now. They've gained points in three straight games now, including a shootout loss to the Ducks, and they've won seven of their last eight games. 

The Sharks, meanwhile, after earning a single Bettman point, jumped up to 95 points, good for a tie with second-place Detroit. The Wings hold a game in hand, but remember: this is the same Sharks team that was questioning their playoff hopes as late in the season as January.

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Ducks Vs. Predators: Nashville Holds Off Anaheim Surge, Wins Fifth Straight

What's the best way to put yourself into a position of comfort in a tight playoff race? 

If "a five-game winning streak" was your answer, you might be a fan of the Nashville Predators. The team added their latest win to the bunch on Thursday night, and this one was a big one against a close foe in the West, the Anaheim Ducks.

Nashville held off a late Anaheim surge in the third period, propelled by (who else?) Teemu Selanne, to earn the two points in a 5-4 win.

Anaheim loses a big chance at moving up in the West with the loss, and now they sit uncomfortably in eighth-place, with one extra game played than ninth-place Dallas and only a one point lead. Nashville, meanwhile, isn't safe just yet having played a few extra games than everybody else and only a four-point gap on ninth-place Dallas. If they keep winning, though, there won't be any issues.

Elsewhere in the NHL...

Penguins 2, Flyers 1 (SO): The latest edition of the Battle of Pennsylvania was a tight-checking, defensive battle between two teams still battling atop both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. Tyler Kennedy tied the score for Pittsburgh in the second period and won in the shootout to get by a stellar Sergei Bobrovsky, who rebounded from tough questions about his playoff future with a fine performance. 

Pittsburgh was fantastic defensively, stifling the Flyers at every turn. It took 13 minutes before Philadelphia registered a shot on goal in the third period. The win draws the Pens closer to the Flyers in both races, although they're still four points back with an extra game played and only eight remaining in the regular season.

Coyotes 3, Jackets 0: Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves as Phoenix nailed down their 17th and 18th points in their last 10 games. That's a pretty good way to assert yourself as a serious contender in the West, no?

Blues 4, Oilers 0: ... sorry, Blues and Oilers fans. I've got nothing.

Senators 2, Rangers 1 (SO): A lackluster performance from NYR allowed Ottawa to stay in the game and, ultimately, steal two points in the shootout. Both Henrik Lundqvist and Craig Anderson made 29 saves in the game.

Leafs 4, Avalanche 3: A loss would've been a death blow, but Toronto avoided that with a gutsy 4-3 win over Colorado. It was their third straight win, and it was propelled by Nikolai Kulemin's two goal night. Also, the role of James Reimer can't be underplayed. He made 25 saves on Thursday night.

Thrashers 2, Islanders 1: Andrew Ladd has 27 goals this season. Did you know that?

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