Avs Blanked for First Time; Bruins Clinch Berth

DENVER -- Goalie Chad Johnson made 31 saves Friday and the Boston Bruins defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 at Pepsi Center to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with their 11th consecutive win.

Boston (48-17-5) leads the Eastern Conference with 101 points, the same number as the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues (47-15-7), who have played one fewer game.

The Bruins haven't lost since a 4-2 defeat to the Washington Capitals on March 1. They've gone 10-0-3 in their past 13 road games and haven't lost in regulation on the road since a 4-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 9.

Johnson recorded his second shutout of the season. He is 10-0-1 in his past 11 decisions, allowing two goals or fewer in nine of them.

The Avalanche were shut out for the first time this season, even though coach Patrick Roy pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for a sixth skater with five minutes to play in the third period.

Colorado (44-21-6), third in the Central Division, fell three points (97-94) behind the second-place Chicago Blackhawks (41-15-15), who defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Avalanche and Blackhawks each have 12 games left in the regular season.

The Bruins took a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal by Carl Soderberg at 13:11 of the second period with the Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog in the penalty box for interfering with Andrej Meszaros. Using Loui Eriksson as a screen, Soderberg took a shot from the right circle that sailed over Varlamov's right shoulder. Dougie Hamilton picked up his second assist of the game on the play.

Johnson made two big saves in the period before Soderberg scored, stopping Maxime Talbot's backhanded shot after skating down the middle and turning aside Jan Hejda just outside the crease after Matt Duchene passed in front.

The Avalanche outshot the Bruins 14-6 in the first period, but Boston grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal by Patrice Bergeron at 5:12.

Zdeno Chara forced the Avalanche into a turnover and Hamilton kept the puck in at the blue line. He passed to Bergeron skating down the slot for a shot that Varlamov stopped. But Bergeron was able to slide the rebound under Varlamov's outstretched left pad for his 21st goal of the season.

The Bruins killed off Kevan Miller's penalty for elbowing Nick Holden that began at 1:48 and limited the Avalanche to one shot.

Johnson made four saves during another Avalanche power play that began at 18:54 when Chara high-sticked Jamie McGinn.

Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk took the pregame warmup, but he was scratched for the third consecutive game because of a foot injury.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
05:12BOS Patrice Bergeron (21) ASST: Dougie Hamilton (13), Zdeno Chara (18) 1 - 0 BOS
2nd Period
13:11BOS PPG - Carl Soderberg (13) ASST: Loui Eriksson (20), Dougie Hamilton (14) 2 - 0 BOS
3rd Period
Three Stars of the Game
Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson
SA: 31TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 25-25
PIM: 0PP: 6-6
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Patrice Bergeron
Patrice Bergeron
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:52
Semyon Varlamov
Semyon Varlamov
SA: 28TOI: 54:55
GA: 2EV: 26-27
PIM: 0PP: 0-1
SV%: .929SH: 0-0
Penalty Summary
1st Period
01:48BOS Kevan Miller  Elbowing against  Nick Holden
07:46BOS Gregory Campbell  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McLeod
07:46COL Cody McLeod  Fighting (maj) against  Gregory Campbell
18:54BOS Zdeno Chara  Hi-sticking against  Jamie McGinn
2nd Period
12:25COL Gabriel Landeskog  Interference against  Andrej Meszaros
3rd Period
10:40BOS Shawn Thornton  Holding against  Nate Guenin
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/10/3
Faceoff Wins2921
Blocked Shots1312
Penalty Minutes117
11G. CampbellC0001511:19
12J. IginlaR0001016:53
17M. LucicL0002016:59
18R. SmithR0010012:49
20D. PailleL0000012:24
21L. ErikssonR0101016:02
22S. ThorntonL0001210:21
23C. KellyC0001014:44
27D. HamiltonD0212019:18
33Z. CharaD0110222:10
34C. SoderbergC1002013:41
37P. BergeronC1013016:52
41A. MeszarosD0005018:40
43M. BartkowskiD0001020:02
46D. KrejciC0003016:55
47T. KrugD0002016:24
63B. MarchandL0012015:17
86K. MillerD0001223:10
30C. Johnson31311.00060:00
2N. HoldenD00-11018:03
4T. BarrieD0003017:26
5N. GueninD00-11014:44
6E. JohnsonD0001025:16
8J. HejdaD0002020:57
9M. DucheneC00-10020:41
11J. McGinnL00-11018:42
16C. SarichD0002013:40
24M. ClicheC000209:06
25M. TalbotC0002013:12
26P. StastnyC0003023:03
29N. MacKinnonC0002023:18
42B. MaloneC000006:53
55C. McLeodL000259:14
58P. BordeleauL000107:14
61A. BenoitD0001019:41
90R. O'ReillyC00-12021:13
92G. LandeskogL0005221:56
1S. Varlamov2628.92954:55