The Boston Bruins have something special brewing as their special teams continued their post-break dominance to help sweep their back-to-back roadie with the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild, and take the tail end with a 6-1 rout over the Wild in Minnesota Saturday night.
Special teams were the difference again for the Bruins. After going 2-for-4 on the powerplay in the 2-1 win over the Jets Friday night, the Bruins went 3-for-4 on Saturday with all three powerplay goals coming in the second period. The penalty kill stayed perfect since the break as they killed off all four Wild powerplays and have now killed off ten straight powerplays in just two games.
Torey Krug had two goals and two assists; David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists; Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist; David Krejci had two helpers and Anders Bjork lit the lamp for the Bruins.
Jaro Halak made 25 saves for the Bruins and Devyn Dubnyk allowed six goals on 34 shots by the Bruins.
For a team that played a physical and intense game the night before, the Bruins were engaged and energetic in the opening frame. While both teams didn’t exactly create high-grade scoring chances, they kept a back and forth pace going throughout the first 20 minutes and the Bruins cashed in first. Krug took a beautiful feed from Par Lindholm – who drew into the lineup for Sean Kuraly who was a healthy scratch – at 17:25 and scored his sixth goal of the season to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. David Krejci had the secondary assist.
There was only one penalty in the first period with Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy taking a two-minute break in the sin-bin at 17:25 for hooking. After killing off six Winnipeg Jets powerplays Friday night, the Bruins penalty kill was dominant again and helped send the Bruins to the first intermission up by a goal.
On Friday the Bruins were victims of some questionable calls against them and saw the Jets get five straight powerplays in the second period. Karma seemed to award the Bruins as the second period got underway Saturday though as Wild forwards Ryan Hartman and Eric Staal were both called for interference within a 1:31 of each other and the Bruins’ powerplay made them pay.
Krug scored his second of the game on the powerplay at 4:39 of the middle frame and 1:19 later with the Bruins on their second powerplay, Marchand got his 22nd goal of the season to pad the lead to 3-0. Krug and Pastrnak got the helpers.
McAvoy found himself in the penalty box again at 11:19 of the second period thanks to a roughing call after he face washed Wild forward Mats Zuccarello right in front of the referee. The Bruins penalty kill came up big again though and crushed any hopes of the Wild climbing back into the game at that point.
That seemed to deflate the Wild and the frustration took over as Joel Eriksson-Ek got called for holding at 14:32. The Bruins powerplay made the Wild pay again as Pastrnak scored his 38th goal of the season 15:29 into the middle frame. Krejci and Jake DeBrusk got the helpers.
DeBrusk took a cross-checking call at 17:40 but the Bruins PK did the job again and the B’s headed into the third period up 4-0.
After the Bruins killed off another Wild powerplay from a Zdeno Chara hooking call at 6:54 of the third period and the Wild finally killed off a Bruins powerplay, compliments of a Jonas Brodin hooking call at 11:17, the Wild finally lit the lamp, when Zuccarello beat Halak for his 14th of the season. Carson Soucy and Stall grabbed the assists.
That proved to be just a chink in the armor though as the Bruins made sure there would be no late-game comebacks like the ones that doomed them too often in the past two months. Anders Bjork got his ninth of the season from Joakim Nordstrom at 18:02 and 31 seconds later, DeBrusk extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with his 17th of the season at 18:33. Karson Kuhlman and Krug got the helpers.