Boston — The contest was never close.
The Bruins potted three first period goals and cruised to an easy win over the visiting Minnesota Wild, who arrived in town at 3 AM after an exhausting contest against the Montreal Canadiens the night prior.
Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of the season and his 250th career victory by stopping all 24 shots he faced. Rask looked in complete control throughout the night and has now won each of his last four starts.
“No, not really,” said Rask with a grin when asked if his confidence was boosted by his recent stellar performance. “I’ve felt good the last couple months, and I think our team has played really well lately. I just try to be out there and stop everything every night.”
Danton Heinen opened the scoring when he redirected a John Moore wrist shot from the blue line over the shoulder of Minnesota goaltender Alex Stalock. The goal was Heinen’s first since December 11 against Arizona.
John Moore had his first multi-point game since October 19, 2017 with two assists. Moore played 19:23 in the contest, third among Bruins’ defensemen, including 2:11 on the penalty kill.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each had a goal and two assists. Marchand scored on a Bergeron shot that careened wide. He slipped behind the defenseman covering him, Greg Pateryn, and caught Stalock out of position for the rebound.
Jake DeBrusk also scored off of a Bergeron shot destined to miss the net, as it popped off of his spoked B and drifted slightly over Stalock’s shoulder. Bergeron himself notched a goal that deflected off of his skate in the slot and in.
“...we got the bounces but I thought we played real strong, especially in the beginning of the game,” said Bergeron. “We were on the puck, creating our chances, and yeah you know, sometimes you do need that puck luck but you know, I think we worked for those chances as well.”
The Bruins dominated the special teams battle, as they did not allow a shot on goal in three Minnesota power play attempts. The Bruins scored in both of their attempts against the Wild’s third-ranked penalty kill. The Bruins have scored 13 goals on the man advantage in their last ten games.
The triumph over the Wild pushed the Bruins’ win streak to their longest streak of the 2018-19 season, currently at five games. The B’s battle the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
Bruce Cassidy said that he is “leaning towards” starting Jaroslav Halak in between the pipes against the defending champs, due to the Caps’ habitual dominance over the black and gold.
Cassidy noted that lineup changes are unlikely due to the high level of performance over the recent stretch. He added that Charlie McAvoy, who is recovering from a lower-body injury, will practice tomorrow morning.