The month of March was supposed to be difficult, or at least so it seemed. When the NHL schedule for the 2013-14 season was released, March immediately stood out for the Black and Gold. A jam-packed 17-game slate loomed, no doubt the most difficult test of the season.
The Bruins have played their final game of March, and they’re probably going to be a little sad to see the calendar flip. Boston played its 17th game of the month on Sunday and earned a 4-3 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers. With the win, the B’s finished the month with a ridiculous 15-1-1 record, which was helped along by an NHL-best 12-game winning streak.
Here’s a closer look at how dominant the B’s were this month.
The Bruins’ 12-game winning streak came to an end last week against Montreal, but the B’s were able to gain at least a point 16 of 17 games in March. The only game they didn’t register a point was March 1 against Washington.
The B’s now have a franchise-record nine-game road winning streak after gaining both points on Sunday in Philly. All nine of those wins came in March. The Bruins haven’t lost in regulation since Jan. 9 in Los Angeles, a stretch that now spans 16 road games.
On Feb. 28, the Bruins held a six-point lead in the Atlantic division and trailed the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed by five points. The B’s now hold a 17-point lead in the Atlantic (despite the fact that Montreal and Tampa Bay have combined to go 15-2-3 in their last 20 games). Boston also jumped over Pittsburgh for the No. 1 seed in the East and now hold an 11-point lead in the East.
The Bruins were a plus-28 for the month and now have an NHL-best plus-83 goal differential for the season. That’s nine better than the league’s second-place team (St. Louis) and 31 better than the third-place team (Chicago).
Jarome Iginla scored 13 goals in 17 games and was a plus-12 for the month.
Patrice Bergeron scored Sunday and extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games, the first such streak in Bruins history since the 1985-86 season. Bergeron finished the month with 11 goals.
The Bruins now occupy the top three spots in plus-minus (David Krejci, Bergeron, Iginla), five of the top eight (Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk) and six of the top 12 (Milan Lucic).
The B’s have done all of this with just one player in the top 30 in points (Krejci, 26th).
The Bruins allowed just 27 goals for the month. Tuukka Rask went 9-1-1 with a .943 save percentage, while Chad Johnson went 6-0-0 with a .951 save percentage.