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Mitch's Sports Report: Despite Octopi, Bruins Win, But Still Need One More And Help To Get In

With fans chanting "We Want Playoffs" and their team facing a must-win situation against the opponent they're battling tooth and nail for a playoff berth, the Boston Bruins beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 to give the faithful at least some glimmer of hope that post-season hockey will be played this year in Boston.

The Bruins charged out of the gate, looking nothing like the team that was coughing up pucks like cats at a hairball convention over the past two weeks, scoring twice in the first three minutes of the game on goals by David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. They took a 3-0 lead on defenseman Torey Krug's first goal in more than 50 games and then put the game away early in the third, scoring twice in a 25-second span with tallies by Lee Stempniak and Loui Eriksson.

There were some Red Wings fans in attendance, and we know this because two octopuses were tossed onto the Garden ice. A barbaric act? Yes, but rooted in tradition, back to the days when Gordie Howe roamed the ice for Detroit and you had to win eight playoff games to lift the Stanley Cup. Octopuses have eight tentacles, and so a Detroit native made that odd connection and Wings fans have been littering ice arenas with Octopi ever since. The Bruins' Matt Beleskey was not amused and whacked one with his stick.

In any event, the Bruins and Red Wings are now tied for 3rd place in the Atlantic division with 93 points and one game each remaining. Whoever nails down that 3rd place slot on Saturday gets into the playoffs and here's where it gets dicey for the Bruins, because there's another team in the mix, the Philadelphia Flyers, who were on the verge of losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, but the Leafs being the Leafs, couldn't hold a 3-1 lead and Philly tied the game at 3 in the waning seconds, then lost in overtime. So the Flyers earn a point for the regulation tie and now have 92 to Boston and Detroit's 93, which is critical for the last wild card berth...following all this? What it means for the Bruins to get into the playoffs they must beat Ottawa in their final regular season game tomorrow. Then they have to hope that either the Ranges beat Detroit OR the Flyers lose their remaining two games against Pittsburgh and the Islanders. But those teams have all clinched a playoff spot already and they really have no incentive to go all out. They're looking ahead to the playoffs and want to stay healthy and will probably start their back-up goaltender for those games or even let the Zamboni driver get in between the pipes just for kicks. There are other scenarios that could play out here but the permutations involve shootout or overtime wins vs regulation victories and tie-breakers that are more complicated than the problem Matt Damon solved on the blackboard in Good Will Hunting. But for any of it to matter the Bruins must win against Ottawa to have a chance, and that's the very team that edged them out of the playoffs by a single point in the standings on the final game of the season last year. How do you like dem apples?

The Boston Red Sox may have watched their hockey counterparts play last night since they were rained out in Cleveland.  No make up date for that game yet. In the Bronx, the NY Yankees took the rubber game of their opening season series against the Houston Astros, winning 8-5. Mark Texiera put this one away for New York, breaking a 5-5 tie in the 7th inning with a three-run homer, his second dinger of the year already. And new Yankees 2nd baseman Starlin Castro is tearing the cover off the ball. He singled and homered against the 'Stros yesterday and is 7 for 12 to start the season for the Yankees. Andrew Miller picked up the save, showing he can still bring it, even with that chipped wrist fracture he suffered on his non-throwing hand on the last day of spring training. The NY Mets were idle, and they face the Tigers in Detroit tonight.

Day one of the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia belonged to the defending Green Jacket champ Jordan Speith, who shot a sizzling 66 and has the lead at 6 under par after one round of play. Danny Lee and Shane Lowry are two strokes back heading into today's action.

Locally, a slew of college and high school lacrosse and baseball/softball games were canceled yesterday due to Mother Nature, but one girls' high school lacrosse game did get in under the weather and Rice defeated South Burlington 12-10, or you could say that Kristina Bellomo beat South Burlington, as she scored ten of Rice's 12 goals in the win.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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