The Bruins colors may be Black and Gold, but tonight they had the luck of the Irish with them tonight. The Bruins once again played their Irish (or Swedish and Canadian) hearts out tonight as they took on Matt Cooke and the goalie deprived Minnesota Wild. Until tonight, the Bruins had never been able to best the Wild at the TD Garden, but Jarome Iginla and the Krejci line set the tone tonight for a very dominant performance in the later stages of the game.
The Bruins extended their streak to nine games with points from eight different players and thirty three saves from goaltender Tuukka Rask in a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild in Boston. (The last time they had a streak like this was a ten game run back in 2011.) The Wild came out strong in the first period, but the strength of Rask in the net kept it scoreless through the first period. In the second, the offense picked up for Boston starting with a Mighty Ducks ‘knuckle puck’ that was launched by Iginla. It bounced off Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin and sunk into Minnesota goaltender Darcy Kuemper‘s five-hole.
The Bruins third line has improved leaps and bounds throughout the season. The NBCSN commentators actually commented that the Bruins third line was the ‘best third line in the NHL’. (In a Sidney Crosby obsessed network, we Bruins fans can really enjoy when the NBC team takes time to praise the Bruins. Loui Eriksson widened the lead after he got a pass from Carl Soderberg. Soderberg (the other half of the ‘Need For Swede’ line) stole the puck at the Minnesota blue line and circled the net before making a backhand pass to Eriksson.
Minnesota closed to gap to one late in the second when a breakdown occurred during a Bruins offensive zone face-off. Ryan Suter‘s pass out of the Wild went to Jason Pominville who flew into their attacking zone. Even though newly minted defenseman Andrej Meszaros hot on his trail, Pominville fired off an impressive shot that eluded Rask, breaking his own stick in the process. Claude Julien appeared to have some fiery words over that lapse, and the Bruins didn’t let it happen again.
Reilly Smith got the sixteen game scoring monkey off his back in the third period, and Jarome Iginla put in an empty netter to seal the deal for Boston.
The Bruins nine game win streak is in impressive milestone in its own right. The fact that Tuukka Rask has now one six in a row makes it even more so. Then you add that the Bruins have allowed one or no goals in six games of the streak, and that they’ve out scored their opponents thirty seven to thirteen while on this roll… It’s beyond clear that the Bruins are proving themselves to be the hottest team in hockey.
Currently the Bruins have a sixteen point lead over all other teams in the Atlantic Division. They’ve got a five point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and they’re widening the gap. They’ve closed within two of the St. Louis Blues for the best record in all of the NHL. The team will rest where they can as they head out to take on former teammate Jaromir Jagr and the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night.