The Boston Bruins are about to go on a five-day break, but with how well they’ve played over the last few weeks, the extended period of rest isn’t coming at the best time.
Still, the B’s will take the time off. They’ve been ravaged by injuries all season, but the team has started to get healthy over the last month, and the results on the ice speak for themselves.
The Bruins are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and have won 17 of their last 23. They’re on a season-high 11-game point streak, too, which has vaulted them into a second-place tie with Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division.
It’s not just the Bruins winning consistently that’s impressed, it’s how they’re doing it. The B’s have scored five or more goals six times during their point streak, and they’ve given up one goal or none in seven of those matchups over the same stretch.
This kind of all-around success has put the Bruins in the top 10 of the NHL in goals scored per game, goals against average, power-play percentage and penalty killing.
The Bruins are due for a regression at some point, but there’s no question this team is one of the best in the East when healthy. They have four skilled, hard-working lines, a blue line featuring a good mix of veterans and young guys, and a solid goalie tandem. That’s the kind of depth needed to win in the playoffs.
Here are some other notes from Bruins’ 6-5 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
— Boston’s next game is Saturday in Montreal against the rival Canadiens. It begins a stretch of five games in eight days, and three of those matchups are with the Habs. A couple wins over the struggling Canadiens could sink their chances of making the playoffs, while further bolstering the Bruins’ hopes of returning to postseason action in back-to-back campaigns. Montreal enters Monday six points behind the second wild card playoff berth in the East.
— Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask struggled Sunday, and he wasn’t afraid to admit it. Still, he’s helped the B’s earn at least a point in each of his last 13 starts.
— Ryan Spooner opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season. Three of them have come over the last four games. Spooner has fantastic speed and is a gifted playmaker, but he’s not a very consistent player. But now that he’s healthy and getting a tremendous opportunity playing alongside David Krejci on Boston’s second line, it wouldn’t be surprising if Spooner starts to generate offense on a more consistent basis.
— Bruins forward David Pastrnak has tallied at least one point in 18 of his last 21 games. That run includes a 12-game point streak. Pastrnak scored a fantastic goal in the second period, giving him goals in back-to-back games and an active four-game point streak. He’s tied with linemate Brad Marchand for the team lead in goals scored at 17.
— The Penguins entered Sunday with the No. 1 ranked power play at 25.8 percent. They put on a clinic at times with the man advantage versus Boston, scoring on two of their three power-play opportunities. Pens center Evgeni Malkin scored one of those goals and picked up an assist on the other.
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