Behind Jarome Iginla’s 24th and 25th goals of the season and 33 saves from Tuukka Rask, the Bruins extended their win streak to nine games with a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in front of a sold out TD Garden crowd on St. Patrick’s Day.
The win was the Bruins first ever home victory against the Wild and only the third time the Bruins have defeated the Wild in team history.
“Yeah, one of the guys brought it up. Looch [Milan Lucic] knows all the stats and he brought it up actually before the game, so we did know that and it does feel good to be a part of their first loss,” said Iginla who played in his 1300th game Monday night.
“I think some of us new guys were probably a little bit surprised with that. Some of the guys who had been here before wanted to end the streak.”
Everything has seemed to click for the Bruins during their nine-game win streak. They’ve been scoring at will, getting top-notch defense and have been getting some key saves between the pipes from both Rask and Chad Johnson.
There have been a few factors as to why the Bruins have been so good since the Olympic break. The play of Iginla has been one of them.
Iginla had just five goals during the first two months of the season. Since then, Iginla has been everything the Bruins thought he would be, and then some, when they brought him in to replace Nathan Horton on their top line.
Iginla leads the Bruins in goals with 25 and should reach the 30-goal plateau for the 11th time in his career.
“Well, we lose a guy we thought was going to be back with us when we talk about [Nathan] Horton last year. That was a big hole to fill. He’s come in there and filled that hole really well,” said head coach Claude Julien.
Since getting off to a hot start with the Bruins, Reilly Smith has found himself in the middle of a scoring slump. Smith scored the Bruins’ third goal of the game Monday night to break out his drought, his first goal in 15 games.
For Smith, the goal was a much needed confidence booster.
“It definitely helps. The biggest thing is just being able to score a goal to help our team win a game,” he said. “Personally, it was a little tough not scoring for that many games but the biggest thing I try to do is just stay positive and not get too down on myself because the chances are still coming.”
The win extended the Bruins lead in the East to five points over the Pittsburgh Penguins and brought the Bruins to within four points of the league leading St. Louis Blues.
For Rask and the Bruins the Presidents’ Trophy is not a top priority, but something they wouldn’t mind securing.
The Bruins will look to notch their 10th win in a row Tuesday night when they kick off a three-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils.