FEB 26, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Kyle Brodziak (21) takes a shot in the second period against the San Jose Sharks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE
Minnesota gummed up Vancouver's run at St. Louis, and the Sabres stayed close to the Caps by crushing Tampa Bay.
On a night when few of the games on the NHL's schedule were competitive, the Minnesota Wild's shutout win over the Vancouver Canucks was one of the close games, and the Buffalo Sabres' trampling of the Tampa Bay Lightning was ... not. It's also safe to say that the Bruins are better than the Maple Leafs, if you were not already aware.
Erik Christensen scored with 24 seconds left in the first period to give the Wild a 1-0 lead they would hold for the duration against Vancouver, with Kyle Brodziak adding the second goal on an empty net with three seconds left in the third period for the final 2-0 margin. Josh Harding stopped all 33 shots he faced for the shutout, and Brodziak also assisted on Christensen's goal; the Wild's win hurts Vancouver's chances of catching the St. Louis Blues for the top seed in the Western Conference.
The Sabres, on the other hand, gutted the Lightning early and often, scoring twice in the first period and four times in the second before easing off the gas in the third period and cruising to a 7-3 victory. Jason Pominville and Marcus Foligno each had two goals for Buffalo, which stayed within striking distance of the Washington Capitals for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
In Boston, the Bruins put eight goals by the Toronto Maple Leafs en route to an 8-0 shutout victory. In earning the shutout, goaltender Tim Thomas made just 13 saves. You don't need to know anymore.
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