Boston Bruins keep streaking, win 10th straight

The Boston Bruins continued their winning ways beating the New Jersey Devils and extending their winning streak to 10.  It was another solid effort in net by Chad Johnson who saved 22 of the 24 shots he faced.  Boston continued their strong offensive output in this game as well, scoring four goals on 31 shots.  In their only other meeting this year, the Bruins blew a 3-1 lead to the Devils because of extremely poor play on the penalty kill, allowing four power-play goals on seven opportunities.  Boston’s special teams was much better in this game however, killing three of the four man advantages for New Jersey and scoring a shorthanded goal less than a minute after the Devils scored on a 5-on-3 power-play.

The Bruins opened up the scoring 14:33 into the first period after a slow line change by the Devils allowed Patrice Bergeron to enter the offensive zone easily.  Bergeron and linemate Reilly Smith executed a nice give-and-go pass and Bergeron found an opening five-hole to beat goalie Martin Brodeur.

After the Bruins answered the Devils 5-on-3 tying goal with a shorthanded one of their own, they extended their lead to two just 59 seconds later thanks to another slow line change by New Jersey.

A stretch pass from the faceoff dot in the Bruins zone from Torey Krug to Jarome Iginla at the offensive blue line left Iginla barreling down the right wing with Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador the only man back for New Jersey but too far away to disrupt Iginla’s shot.  A hard wrist shot just above the right faceoff dot by Iginla found a small opening between Brodeur’s pads and trickled into the net giving the Bruins the 3-1 lead.

After the game Bruins coach Claude Julien talked about the resiliency of his team after giving up the power-play goal that tied the game.  “We were a little disappointed we gave up the tying goal, but the next time out they scored the shorthanded goal and that gave us some life,” Julien said. “It’s about showing character, showing determination, and that’s what we did.”

That character and determination that coach Julien spoke about after the game is the reason why the Bruins have won 10 straight.  It would have been very easy for this team to have a letdown against the Minnesota Wild and the Devils without their second best defenseman, Johnny Boychuck, who was injured in the game on Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.  That resilience however should come as no surprise because of the veteran leadership the Bruins have up and down their roster.

Boston was not really threatened after taking the 3-1 lead and went on to cruise to their 10th straight win.  Thanks to the current winning streak, the Bruins lead in the Atlantic Division has ballooned to 16 points over the second place Montreal Canadiens.  They also now have a five-point lead in the Eastern Conference and find themselves just two-points out of the Presidents’ Trophy.

Game Notes:

- Jarome Iginla’s goal in the second period was the 556th of his NHL career, putting him tied for 25th on the all-time list with Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk.  He is the team’s leading goal scorer with 26

- The third line of Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly, and Loui Eriksson once again combined for a goal.  In the team’s 10-game winning streak they have combined for 21-points.

- The Bruins are outscoring opponents 40-14 during their winning streak.

- Corey Potter played his first game for the Bruins and looked solid in 15:09 of ice time.  Potter was a Plus-1, saw time on the penalty kill, and had one hit and one shot on goal.

- Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch after a poor performance against the Wild.