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Bruins beat Habs, spoil Julien's return

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (AP) The Bruins showed former coach Claude Julien what a changed style looks like in Boston.

David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner each scored an early goal, Tuukka Rask stopped 21 shots and the Bruins beat Montreal 4-1 Wednesday night in Canadiens coach Julien's return to Boston for the first time since he was fired nearly a year ago.

Dismissed last Feb. 7 in his 10th season, Julien - who led the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup championship - was replaced by assistant and current Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who opted for more up-tempo, charge-into-the-zone play from his defensemen as opposed to Julien's mostly defensive-minded style.

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Ducks score 4 in 2nd, hold off Penguins

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique scored 1:35 apart to Anaheim the lead during its four-goal second period, and the Ducks went on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 Wednesday night.

Chris Wagner and Ondrej Kase also scored for Anaheim in the middle period, and Hampus Lindholm added an empty-netter in the final second of the game. John Gibson stopped 30 shots to help the Ducks improve to 7-3-1 in their last 11 games.

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Penguins G Murray away after dad's death

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is taking a leave of absence from the team following the death of his father.

The Penguins announced Wednesday that James Murray, Matt's father, died on Tuesday in Ontario, Canada. Matt Murray, who backstopped Pittsburgh to consecutive Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017, will be away from the team indefinitely.

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Boston honors hockey pioneer O'Ree

BOSTON (AP) Hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree was honored in Boston on Wednesday on the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL's color barrier.

At a news conference at the TD Garden before the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadiens, Mayor Marty Walsh declared Jan. 18, 2018 to be "Willie O'Ree Day". O'Ree made his debut in 1958 during a 3-0 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal.

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Longtime Bruins anthem singer to retire

BOSTON (AP) Rene Rancourt, the tuxedoed troubadour who has sung the national anthem before Boston Bruins games for more than 40 years, announced on Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the season.

The 78-year-old trained opera singer began singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Red Sox games and took over the U.S. and Canadian anthems at Bruins games during the 1975-76 season. He ends his performance with a signature fist pump he modeled after Bruins forward Randy Burridge.

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Preds' Saros stops 43 to beat Vegas 1-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) While his teammates enjoyed some time off with a bye week, Juuse Saros kept working. It paid off for the Predators on Tuesday night.

Saros made 43 saves, Kevin Fiala scored eight minutes into the third period and Nashville beat the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0.

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Rangers net 5 straight, end Flyers' run

NEW YORK (AP) Henrik Lundqvist and Brady Skjei sat inside the Rangers' dressing room after shellacking the Flyers, and surprisingly enough, their conversation was all about defense.

Even after Rick Nash scored twice in New York's 5-1 win over Philadelphia, the Rangers were most pleased by what happened in their own end.

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Devils beat Isles to snap 6-game skid

NEW YORK (AP) Nearly three weeks after the Devils' last victory, Damon Severson didn't want to say his team was getting desperate. He did acknowledge they needed a win.

Severson scored twice 1:26 apart in New Jersey's three-goal second period, and the Devils ended a six-game skid with a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

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Blues score late to tie, top Leafs in OT

TORONTO (AP) Alexander Steen pulled the St. Louis Blues back into the game, and then Vince Dunn finally got rewarded for a fabulous first performance in his home province.

Steen tied it with 57 seconds left and Dunn scored 1:43 into overtime, lifting St. Louis over the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Tuesday night.

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Spezza scores 2 after scratch, Stars win

DETROIT (AP) Jason Spezza made the most of an opportunity to play a day after getting benched.

Spezza scored two tiebreaking goals on power plays to help the Dallas Stars beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Tuesday night.

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