Bruins’ streak reaches 10 games as they beat Devils
In March the Bruins have played different lineups most every game, including using both goaltenders liberally, but the constant has been the end result: wins. Boston (47-17-5) beat New Jersey (29-27-13), 4-2, at the Prudential Center Tuesday to pick up its 10th straight victory. That matches Anaheim’s mark from earlier this season for the two best runs in the league. The B’s also have earned points in 12 consecutive games (9-0-3), something they hadn’t done since 1975-76 (14 games).
Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring with a backhander that beat Martin Brodeur through his five-hole. Boston led, 1-0, after the first period but Patrik Elias tied it 29 seconds into the second when New Jersey had a two-man advantage. Brad Marchand answered less than a minute later with his NHL-best fifth shorthanded goal of the season. The red-hot Jarome Iginla scored his sixth goal in his last four games 59 seconds after Marchand for the 3-1 lead.
The Bruins’ third line continued to put points on the board as Chris Kelly made it 4-1 in the third period on a one-timer. Travis Zajac cut it to 4-2 midway through the frame and New Jersey kept putting pressure on Boston (playing in the second game of a back-to-back) but Chad Johnson (22 saves) improved to 15-3-1 with his fourth win in a row (he’s allowed six total goals in that span).
This was the beginning of a three-game road trip for Boston. The B’s travel to Colorado on Friday (9 p.m., NESN) to face the high-flying Avalanche (44-19-6). That’s followed by another back-to-back, this time in Phoenix (33-25-11) on Saturday (9, NESN). The Bruins beat the Coyotes, 2-1, last Thursday at TD Garden.
What they’ll be saying: Under head coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have now put together three separate 10-game win streaks. The club record for consecutive victories is 14 back in 1929-30. With 99 points on the season, Boston can go over 100 with a win against the Avalanche.
Bergeron became the fourth Bruin to score 20 goals this season, joining Iginla, Marchand and Milan Lucic. It is also the fifth time in his career that Bergeron has reached the mark; his career high is 31 in 2005-06. He’s scored 22 goals three different times so with 13 games left in the regular season, there is a good chance he tops that.
Iginla’s 556th career goal (25th all-time in the NHL) tied him with Bruins icon Johnny Bucyk, an NHL Hall of Famer that still works with the team as the director of road services. Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur is 24th with 560 career goals. If he keeps playing like this, Iginla could get as high as No. 21 (Mats Sundin, 564) before the playoffs start
Corey Potter made his Bruins debut, he was picked up off waivers from Edmonton before the trade deadline. Wearing No. 6, he skated 15:09 on the third pairing with Torey Krug. He was plus-1 with one shot, one hit and two takeaways, not bad for a guy who last played on Jan. 27 with the Oilers. Matt Bartkowski was the healthy scratch for the Bruins defensemen, joining Johnny Boychuk (leg) and Jordan Caron.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate