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Bruins first to make playoff.

Byline: Dennis Georgatos

DENVER -- Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg each had a goal, Chad Johnson stopped 31 shots for his third career shutout, and the Bruins beat the Colorado Avalanche, 2-0, on Friday night for their 11th win in a row.

Boston became the first team to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It is the longest run for the Bruins since a 13-game winning streak in the 1970-71 season. They pushed their point total to 101, the 21st time the team has reached the 100-point plateau.

Colorado pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra attacker with five minutes remaining but couldn't avert its first shutout of the season. The Avalanche had scored at least once in 80 straight games since their previous shutout last April 6 at Phoenix.

Colorado, which handed Boston its only shutout of the season on Oct. 10, was the last NHL team to be blanked this season.

Johnson was at the center of the effort, turning away one scoring opportunity after another. One of his best saves came in the second period when he used his glove to stop Nathan MacKinnon's shot on a breakaway. Johnson improved to 10-0-1 in his last 11 starts, a career-best point streak that includes a pair of shutouts. He is 16-3-1 on the season.

With the Bruins on the power play, Loui Eriksson passed to Soderberg in the lower right circle for a wrist shot into the upper corner of the net on Varlamov's stick side. That made it 2-0 at 13:11 of the second period.

In the first period. Bergeron took a pass from Dougie Hamilton in the slot and fired a shot that Varlamov stopped. But the rebound trickled out, and Bergeron knocked the loose puck back into the net at 5:12.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Georgatos, Dennis
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Mar 22, 2014
Words:299
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