Bruins ease past Wild, run win streak to nine
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tuukka Rask turned away 33 shots as the red- hot Boston Bruins posted a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday.
Jarome Iginla scored twice, while Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson also scored for the Bruins, who have ripped off nine wins in a row and now hold a five- point lead over Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
It is Boston's longest winning streak since a 10-game span from Nov. 1-23, 2011.
"We've played some really good games and then we've played some OK games," said Rask. "It's a sign of a good team when you win when you don't play at your best. And I think we've just found a way to win most nights."
Jason Pominville scored the only goal of the game for the Wild, who have dropped five of their last six games. Darcy Kuemper gave up three goals on 28 shots in the loss.
After a scoreless first period, Boston took a 1-0 lead 3:52 into the second as Iginla flew in down the left side and fired a shot on net that was deflected by the defender, bounced in front of Kuemper and went between his pads.
It was a 2-0 lead for the Bruins eight minutes later when Carl Soderberg skated around the net from right to left and fired a backhand pass the other way where Eriksson potted his eighth of the year.
"We were really happy with our first period," said Minnesota forward Kyle Brodziak. "We felt like we were playing the game like we were supposed to. It's too bad we couldn't get a couple breaks early on, that might've changed the game a little bit. But yeah, it's tough when you give up two quick ones like that."
Minnesota made it a 2-1 game with 1:26 to play in the second as Ryan Suter's diving clear went to the middle of the ice where Pominville caught up to the puck and slapped it in from down low, breaking his stick in the process, for his 26th goal of the season.
Boston, though, got the goal back at 7:50 of the third as Patrice Bergeron's turnaround shot from the left circle was stopped, but the rebound came out to the right and Smith slammed it home.
Minnesota pulled Kuemper with 2 1/2 minutes to play, and Iginla sealed the win with an empty-netter and 1:05 showing on the clock.
Boston hits the road for three games starting in New Jersey on Tuesday ... Minnesota plays in New York against the Islanders on Tuesday ... Minnesota had won two straight and five of six against Boston coming in. Also, it is the first time the team has lost in Boston, having won its previous six games ... Iginla played in his 1,300th game, and the second goal was the 555th of his career ... Boston leads the NHL with 12 empty-net goals.
03/17 23:49:54 ET