Make that a handful of wins in a row for the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins strung together their fifth consecutive victory on Saturday with a 4-3 overtime win over the Nashville Predators.
Boston is now 8-1-0 in January and own a 22-11-2 record. The Predators, who sit atop the Western Conference, fell to 24-12-3.
It was once again a strong start for the Bruins, with Smith sniping a shot past Predators’ Juuse Saros 3:20 into the game.
Slick move by Patrice Bergeron to send the Brad Marchand pass over to Smith, you beat Saros up over the shoulder.
About six minutes later, Reilly found the back of the net for his fourth of the season.
Excellent patience at first by Erik Haula to wait for Reilly coming off the bench, then great patience by Reilly to wait, wait, wait and then beat Saros.
But Nashville was able to get on the board before the end of the first. The Bruins failed to clear the puck out of the defensive zone and Colton Sissons made them pay.
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead into the second period.
Some rough stuff at the beginning of the frame as Derek Forbort fought Michael McCarron less than four minutes into the second.
The Preds tied the game up with a Luke Kunin seeing-eye shot.
With Brandon Carlo getting low to the ice, it looks like Ullmark never saw it until it was too late.
The 2-2 score remained heading into the final regulation period.
The Bruins took advantage of their only power play of the night, with Marchand coming up in the clutch to give the Bruins back the lead.
How about that – nine straight seasons with 20 goals for Marchand? He’s our All-Star.
But Nashville answered less than three minutes later. David Pastrnak with a BAD, BAD, BAD clearing attempt and Roman Josi put it past Ullmark.
I mean we’re talking top 10 egregious defensive zone turnover this season for the Bruins.
No dice for either side the rest of the way, so to OT we go.
An exciting back and forth OT period.
It starts with Jake DeBrusk rushing in and hitting the post. The puck just sat there in the crease before the Preds cleared.
The Nashville went down and Matt Duchene found iron of his own.
Finally, Hall was able to end the game, cleaning up a rebound off the rush.
Excellent defenisve play by Urho Vaakanainen, who heads the play the other way. Pastrnak gets the puck on net, Hall crashes and cashes in.
4-3 Bruins the final.
- That was a playoff type game. Cassidy said it after the game and it really felt like it. Nashville plays heavy and physical, not by any means an easy opponent. But Boston stuck with it and pulled out the extra point
- That felt like a game the 2021 Bruins would have let slip away, especially after blowing the 2-0 lead. But not the 2022 Bruins
- That said, the last two games, Bruins have gone up 2-0 then hit the snooze button. They bounced back in this one, but let’s not let that be a pattern
- Best Charlie McAvoy has looked since coming back from his injury. He had a TOUGH game on Thursday but Saturday afternoon, he looked like a Norris trophy candidate
- If he continues playing at the level he is, Urho Vaakanainen should be in this lineup night in and night out. Heck of a defensive play in overtime to set up the game-winner. A BAD penalty in the third, but more than made up for it
- Five game point streak for Marchand, with the last four games all being multi-point efforts. 16 points during January. ALL-STAR MATERIAL
- Where has this Mike Reilly been? That was the performance of a legit top-4 defenseman. He created plays on offense, he was a play maker, he didn’t turn the puck over. More of that please Mikey
- Despite the physical game, quiet afternoon from the fourth line
- Nashville is legit. Everyone is kind of waiting for them to fall off and they’re just not. They don’t have a ton of stars, but they’re deep and play a hard style.
- Oh, and Juuse Saros remains criminally underrated
The five-game win streak can be extended to six on Tuesday with a tough matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes, a team who beat the Bruins earlier in the season.
But it doesn’t matter the opponent right now. This is one of, if not the hottest team on the planet right now. Almost like mixing up those top two lines works or something.