NHL PLAYOFFS : Bruins Primed to Sweep the Canadiens

From Associated Press

The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have met frequently in the playoffs ever since their first postseason matchup in 1929.

The Bruins have claimed their share of victories, but they never have swept the Canadiens in a best-of-seven playoff series.

Thursday night at Boston, the Bruins took a step toward achieving that feat with a 3-2 victory that gave them a 3-0 lead in the Adams Division final.

Vladimir Ruzicka and Jim Wiemer scored goals for the Bruins in a span of 1:40. The Bruins, who have beaten the Canadiens in the division final three of the last four years, can win another title in Game 4 Saturday night at Boston Garden.

Ruzicka scored the go-ahead goal with 4.6 seconds left in the first period and Wiemer, picking up some offensive slack in the absence of injured Ray Bourque, made it 3-1 with a goal at 1:35 of the second period.

"Our defense was incredible," Boston Coach Rick Bowness said. "We played very hard and we played very smart. We made a few mistakes, but we minimized them. When we didn't, Andy (Moog) made the big save.

Ruzicka, who scored 39 goals during the regular season, scored his third playoff goal on a power play three seconds before Russ Courtnall's slashing penalty was due to expire.

N.Y. Rangers 6, Pittsburgh 5--Kris King put in a rebound of Paul Broten's long slap shot 1:29 into overtime to give the Rangers the victory at Pittsburgh.

The Rangers blew three two-goal leads, but came back to take a 2-1 edge in the Patrick Division finals.

King scored the winning goal for the second consecutive game as the Rangers won their second in a row without Mark Messier, who has back spasms.

New York goaltender Mike Richter made 45 saves.

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