The Boston Bruins simply cannot be stopped-scoring three unanswered goals to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night to win their 12th straight game. Jarome Iginla tied the game at two in the third period on a deflection off a Zdeno Chara slapper as well as scoring an empty-net goal to lift the B’s to a 4-2 victory.
Iginla now has 28 goals on the year to lead the Bruins. Iginla has 11 goals in the month of March and there are still games to be played. He now trails line-mate David Krejci by only two points for the team lead. That’s how hot he has been.
The former Flames captain started the week with two goals against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden, added another goal versus the Devils, surprisingly went scoreless against the Avalanche Friday night before potting two goals against the Coyotes. That’s five goals in four games for the right winger on the week.
With two goals Saturday night in Phoenix, Iginla notched his 100th career multi-goal game. With 11 games to go, Iginla (at the rate he is going) will most likely add to that total.
“It’s nice for sure that I’ve been getting some good bounces,” Iginla told reporters during the B’s morning skate on Monday. “You try to approach every game with a good effort and help the team win. It’s fun, it’s the NHL, and it’s a lot more fun winning, and at this time of year its pretty neat…”
With Iginla only totaling 15 goals in his first 53 games of the year, it is hard to think he is approaching another 30 goal season. It would be his 12th career 30-goal plateau if he can score two more goals before the postseason starts.
Iginla has his line playing some of the best hockey of the season. Whether it is producing points or keeping the puck in the offensive zone wearing out opposing defensemen with long shifts, they have been doing it all.
With 558 goals in his career, he has passed Johnny “Chief” Bucyk for 25th all-time in goals.
“He’s pretty quiet, but he goes out there and leads by example,” forward Chris Kelly said about Iginla’s leadership after the B’s 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild Monday night.
“We have enough guys that spew. He just goes out and plays his game and plays hard and does everything extremely well. Not just one aspect of his game, he’s not just a scorer. He plays hard, he fights, he blocks shots. He’s out there last minute when we’re up by a goal or down by a goal. He’s one of the best all-around players of all time I think. Just lucky to get to play with him.”
Head coach Claude Julien knows Iginla has been everything they had hoped for and then some with the loss of Nathan Horton.
“He’s fit in so well with that line,” he said. “He brings us the same thing the other guy did with his size and scoring ability. He’s done a great job. And again, we’re talking about a veteran here who has tremendous leadership qualities. Again, maybe not surprising to a lot of people what he’s accomplished here and certainly he’s been a great asset to our team where, like I said, it could’ve been a lot different had we not gotten him.”
Iginla and the B’s will look to keep the ball rolling as they have two stiff tests right out of the gate this week against the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks. If the Black and Gold want to extend their win streak to 14 games, they will need to play their best hockey yet in the midst of their streak.