Bruins Halt Possible Losing Streak to Shutout Blackhawks


Mar 27, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski (43) celebrates with goalie Tuukka Rask (40) after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins Come Back Strong from Montreal Loss

It’s difficult to imagine the Boston Bruins losing two consecutive games based on their 12-game win streak success in the month of March, a view upon which you can base the Bruins’ shutting out of the incumbent Stanley Cup champions 3-0.

The Bruins overcame a slow start in the opening minutes of the contest to prevent the Chicago Blackhawks from procuring one goal through a full 60 minutes.

Barely past the midway point in the first period, the B’s nabbed their first goal, as Matt Bartkowski ripped a shot on net from the blue line. Patrice Bergeron was positioned nicely just outside of the crease, and he redirected the high-flying puck past a helpless Corey Crawford.

The rest of the first period showed some back-and-forth play with little opportunity for twine.

In the second period, the Bruins began to increase pressure on the Blackhawks’ defense, utilizing some great skating from Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith, since both almost combined for the B’s second goal of the night.

When the second period began to wind down, Carl Soderberg calmly brought the puck forward during a 2-on-1 rush with Chris Kelly. Crawford came out high to meet Soderberg, and the Hawks defended the odd-man advantage very well; however, the skillful Swede cleverly dropped the puck off to Dougie Hamilton barreling into the high-slot area.

Hamilton missed the shot.

Soderberg, though, would make up for this missed opportunity netting a goal of his own in third period.

Johnny Boychuk zipped a quick wrist shot that was blocked down near the crease, and Soderberg was situated in the right place at the right time to bury the puck into the upper decks of the iron.

The Bruins’ last goal to seal the victory arrived after Crawford boldy ventured behind the metalwork only to find Marchand center a pass to Bergeron, who whipped a rapid shot on frame that appeared to cross the goal line before Crawford hurled the net off of its moorings.

That final action basically settled the 3-0 result.

Tuukka Rask notched his seventh shutout victory of the season, topping all NHL goaltenders by at least two games.  While not forced to be extremely spectacular, Rask’s performance was fundamentally sound, impeding the possibility of cheap goals for Chicago.

Bergeron has scored at least a goal in five consecutive games. The B’s alternate captain has been exceptional, particularly in this match where he gathered a brace for his squad.

On the same note, Soderberg has been one of the best third liners in the NHL. His tactfulness on the puck is an intriguing sight, and he is practically level with Marchand’s point total despite starting eight less games than the Canadian.

The Bruins’ next matchup will occur on the road this Saturday against the Washington Capitals. Is another win streak possible before the close of the regular season?