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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bruins Rally For Their 12th Straight Win, 4-2 vs. Coyotes

At some point in the near future-as soon as Monday at TD Garden vs. Montreal, Boston's current unbelievable win streak is going to come to an end. Until then, we must savor this slice of history that grows bigger and more unbelievable by the day. Tonight, the Bruins (49-17-5) were pushed to the limit by the Coyotes (34-26-11) but still managed to take their punch and come back for a 4-2 victory. Boston has won its last 12 games, their most since 1971 and third best club mark in history. They also have the most points (103) in the NHL, two ahead of St. Louis who has played one less game.

Phoenix was in a charitable mood as they basically handed the B's a 1-0 lead just 3:25 into the first period. Mike Smith's (24 saves) pass was easily picked off by Andrej Meszaros who gave it up to Patrice Bergeron. He followed his own rebound for the 22nd goal of the season (his 6th career 50-point season).

Shane Doan tied it 8:20 after that, also potting a goal after his initial shot was stopped by Tuukka Rask (30 saves). Boston actually trailed for over 20 minutes in game time which hadn't happened to them in weeks. Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson made it 2-1 in favor of his team with a beautiful move then you guessed it, juicy rebound.

No problem, in the second night of a back-to-back and the finale of a three-game road trip, the B's dug extra deep and outscored Phoenix 3-0 in the third period. Jarome Iginla tied it at 3:48 when he stood in front of Smith and Zdeno Chara's missile deflected off him in the net. Dougie Hamilton had the other assist on Iginla's team-best 27th goal.

It felt right that Shawn Thornton ended up scoring the game-winner. It was a very fourth line goal as he battled in front and tipped Daniel Paille's sharp pass. Gregory Campbell had the second assist on Thornton's goal. Iginla added an empty-netter for the final margin. Milan Lucic had the lone assist on Iginla's second goal of the night.

This is the start of a big week for the Bruins as they host the Canadiens (39-26-7) on Monday (7:30, NBCSN) at the Garden and the Blackhawks (41-15-15) on Thursday (7, NESN). Oh and they go to Washington on Saturday and Philadelphia on Sunday for another back-to-back in March. Bet they can't wait to get to April, mostly because that means the playoffs will finally be upon us.

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