The Bruins, getting some much-needed production from their much-maligned defenseman, continue their pursuit of a playoff spot as they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon in their final home game of the regular season.
A 3-1 win over Buffalo on Thursday night vaulted Boston (37-30-13) from eighth place to sixth in the Eastern Conference. If the New York Rangers lose in regulation to Philadelphia on Friday night, the Bruins will secure their third straight postseason berth.
Boston, which concludes its regular season at Washington on Sunday afternoon, has earned points in three straight games (2-0-1), getting valuable contributions from Wideman. He scored the game-winning goal versus the Sabres, breaking a third-period tie.
"Right now, it's about winning," said Wideman, who has a goal in each of his last two games after finding the back of the net three times in his first 70 contests. "I think things are going better. I think it's getting down to that time of the season where you've got to come through and perform."
Wideman scored 13 goals in each of his first two full seasons with the Bruins, but he's been limited to six this season and has been routinely booed by the home crowd.
"He's had some tough times," coach Claude Julien said. "His teammates and the coaching staff certainly support him. There's obviously some frustration and he has stuck with it."
Wideman helped the Bruins overcome another poor performance from their power-play unit, which went 0 for 5 on Thursday and is 3 for 43 (7.0 percent) over its last 15 games.
Carolina (35-36-10) scored on its only opportunity with the man advantage Thursday night, helping Boston's playoff chances with a 5-2 win over Montreal in its home finale.
Eric Staal had three goals and two assists for the Hurricanes, who have been playing well despite being eliminated from playoff contention, beating Tampa Bay 8-5 on Tuesday night in their previous game. Carolina, which started 3-12-5, has won 20 of 31 games (20-8-3) entering its season finale.
"We gave ourselves a chance ... to make the playoffs, and it was too big a hole," Staal said. "That's what makes it more frustrating now, is we do have a good group of players here that compete every night. Obviously, it was just a little bit too high of a hill to climb."
Chad LaRose added two goals and two assists versus the Canadiens for his first career four-point game. Staal and LaRose have combined for 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in two games.
"Any time you can score three goals in a game, it's pretty cool. And it's not easy," Staal said. "You've got to have the right things happen for you. You've got to have the right guys playing with you, making great plays."
Staal and LaRose were held without a point in a 5-2 loss to Boston on March 16. The Bruins lead the season series 2-1-0.