Thursday night’s tilt at Xcel Energy Center was more of a formality than anything, but nonetheless the Boston Bruins walked away with a win.
Joakim Nordstrom, David Pastrnak and Zach Senyshyn provided the game’s only tallies in a 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Senyshyn’s goal came on his NHL debut and was an empty-netter.
With the Bruins cemented in second place in the Atlantic Division and the Wild out of playoff contention, neither side had anything to play for, and referees for the most part swallowed the whistle and allowed the game to zip along as a result. The Bruins had a somewhat unusual lineup, as they rested Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara.
Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves for the Bruins, while Wild netminder Alex Stalock turned away 32 shots.
The Bruins climbed to 49-23-9 with the win, while the Wild fell to 37-35-9 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
The first period was about as even as could be, with neither side able to find the back of the net. At first, the Bruins had a little sloppiness in their play, but as the period drew on they tightened things up a bit.
Minnesota won the opening period shots battle 9-8.
NORDY GETS B’S GOING
The Bruins finished the second period up 1-0 after scoring the only goal of the first 40 minutes.
Matt Grzelcyk wristed a shot from the point that rung off the post and caromed to the end boards. After striking the boards, the puck went to Noel Acciari at the near post, and Acciari poked a pass diagonally to Nordstrom, who was crashing to the net. Nordstrom one-timed the puck home from the inner edge of the circle at 8:21.
It was Nordstrom’s seventh goal of the season.
Just moments into the period, there was a scare when Kevan Miller left the game.
Miller engaged in a puck battle with Wild forward Jordan Greenway. Both skaters were dashing with speed deep into Minnesota’s attacking zone when they banged bodies, sending Miller to the ice. The defenseman slid for a moment and crashed hard into the end boards, staying laid out on the ice for a few moments.
Play stopped and Miller slowly got up, with team medical staff rushing out to help him off the ice.
With a few minutes left in the frame he returned to the bench and took a shift before the period was over. However, the Bruins held out Miller for all of the third period.
B’S GET A PAIR
With less than three minutes in the game, Pastrnak put things out of reach.
Jake DeBrusk skated toward the net, and at the last second slipped a puck into the slot, finding Pastrnak, who quickly buried his 38th goal of the season.
Then, with the Wild’s net empty after the Pastrnak goal, Boston got a third. Senyshyn got the puck in the neutral zone, entered the attacking zone and buried the empty netter with 2:09 left in the game.
The Bruins conclude their regular season slate with a home date against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 1 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.