Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins kept surging under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, moving up in the race for the playoffs that begin in mid-April. For defenseman Johnny Oduya and the Dallas Stars, the immediate future is much more uncertain. Bergeron had two goals and an assist as the Bruins beat Dallas 6-3 Sunday, improving to 6-1 since Cassidy took over for the fired Claude Julien.
The big-name San Jose Sharks can push the strongest NHL team off its game. Ravaged by an apparent outbreak of the mumps, the Vancouver Canucks could only do so much. Patrick Marleau scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Martin Jones made 35 saves, helping the Sharks beat the undermanned Canucks 4-1 on Saturday night.
The Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars meet early Sunday afternoon at American Airlines Center, a game starting at 11:30 a.m. local time, but both teams are embracing this scheduling anomaly. Boston (31-24-6) welcomes the early start because that means its four-game trip, on which the Bruins are 2-1-0 thus far, including a 4-1 win at Los Angeles on Thursday, will end a little earlier than normal, meaning they return home sooner. "We know what's on the line," Bruins forward David Backes said after practice in Dallas on Saturday.