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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bruins Win Their 10th Straight Game, 4-2 at Devils

It is official, the Bruins are on a bigger roll (in the regular season) than I can ever recall in my lifetime and yes I know this is the third time they've won 10 in a row under Claude Julien. Tonight, Boston (47-17-5) picked up the 10th straight win, 4-2 at Prudential Arena vs. New Jersey (29-27-13). Thanks to their longest win streak since November 2011, the B's are five points ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Boston has outscored opponents 41-15 during this particularly dominant run and they are tied with St. Louis for the best goal-differential (+74) in the NHL and they've allowed the second fewest goals (149) in the league with the second most points overall (2 behind the Blues). Their next win will put them over 100 points on the season.

Playing in the second night of a back-to-back, Boston looked fine as they outshot the Devils 15-5 in the first period. The Panthers had something tangible to show for it as well when Patrice Bergeron slipped a backhander past Grandpa Martin Brodeur at 14:33. Bergeron's 20th goal of the season was assisted by Reilly Smith and Andrej Meszaros.

Sensing his team needed any type of spark, Ryane Clowe chose to drop the gloves with Milan Lucic which isn't something you see every day. The Devils responded with the tying goal by Patrick Elias 29 seconds into the second period. That was on a 5-on-3 man advantage for the hosts. Boston responded with a shorthanded goal (his NHL best 5th) by Brad Marchand 54 seconds after Elias, from Bergeron and Zdeno Chara. Just 59 seconds after Boston celebrated that, they were going crazy again as Jarome Iginla beat Brodeur for his team-leading 26th goal of the season from David Krejci and Torey Krug.

As usual, Boston put it away when Chris Kelly finished a pretty one-timer from Carl Soderberg at 7:11 in the third. Kelly's eighth goal of the season was also assisted by Loui Eriksson. The Bruins have done an excellent job of stepping on teams' throats and making their leads virtually insurmountable.

The Bruins defense let Travis Zajac have too much time and space so naturally he fired one past Chad Johnson (22 saves; 15-3-1 overall) at 9:13 that cut it to 4-2 but that's all she wrote.

With this insanely packed March (17 games) and coming off an emotional win, it has to be a good thing that Boston gets the next two days off before they travel to Colorado (44-20-5) to play the Avalanche on Friday (9, NESN) in an ultra rare Friday Night Ice matchup (I just made that up myself!).

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