Monday’s 4-2 win over the Devils at TD Garden was the exclamation point to a very successful (4-0) homestand for the Bruins. Boston (10-6-0) has won its last five games to vault from near the bottom of the Atlantic Division to three points behind first-place Tampa Bay and one point behind Montreal. The key for the B’s is to keep things rolling this week as the games figure to get more difficult. They are in Toronto (8-5-2) on Wednesday (8 p.m., NBCSN) and then in Montreal (10-4-1) the following night (7:30 p.m., NESN). Along with the Lightning and Red Wings, these are the clubs they’ll be battling all season for playoff position.
Boston’s last loss came on Oct. 28 (4-3 vs. Minnesota) and the common element to this current run is its usual strong defense and goaltending. The defense has overcome injuries toZdeno Chara,Kevan Miller,Torey Krug and David Warsofsky so far andgoaltender Tuukka Rask, who struggled at the beginning of the season, has picked it up since the calendar turned to November.
Boston’s offense still isn’t exactly explosive (18 goals during the win streak) but the good sign is that many of its top players are starting to play like they're capable of. With a goal and two assists on Monday, Patrice Bergeron has two goals and four assists in his last four games. Linemate Reilly Smith had a goal and an assist Monday, giving him a modest three-game point streak (two goals, three assists). Carl Soderberg had a power-play goal against New Jersey and, quietly, he has been the Bruins’ most consistent forward with two goals and four assists in his last five games.
Boston beat Toronto, 4-1, on Oct. 25 at the Garden but fell 6-4 at Montreal on Oct. 16. It's likely that Niklas Svedberg will make his first start since Oct. 30 on Wednesday against Toronto, giving Rask some rest before he faces the Canadiens. The Bruins and Rask are both due for a good showing against Montreal, the team that usually seems to have their number, particularly at the Bell Centre.