The Boston Bruins have barely edged out their opponents during their longest winning streak of the season, but that’s exactly why their confidence continues to rise.
The Bruins go for their fifth straight win when they host the struggling Florida Panthers on Monday.
Three of Boston’s four consecutive victories have come after regulation, including a 3-2 overtime win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
“We just have to maintain (this momentum) and continue to play hard,” team captain Zdeno Chara told bostonbruins.com. “When you win games, your confidence level rises. And when you get to the point when you are going into overtime, or shootout, you just believe you are going to get it done.”
Glen Murray replaced Patrice Bergeron as the hero Saturday, scoring the game-winner on a power play 2:06 into the extra session to boost his team-leading goal total to nine on the season. Bergeron had scored Boston’s three previous game-winners, including an overtime victory over Toronto and in a shootout against Washington.
“I just knew it was in the slot. I think it was rolling,” Murray said. “I just wanted to get it on goal.”
Murray also had two assists and hopes to continue his success on Monday. He has 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points in 36 career games against the Panthers, his third-highest point total versus any opponent.
The Bruins (8-7-2) are trying to win five in a row for the first time since a six-game streak from Jan. 29-Feb. 10, 2004. Tim Thomas has been between the pipes for Boston’s entire four-game run, posting a 1.94 goals-against average in that span. However, he has lost both of his career starts against the Panthers with a 5.32 GAA.
Florida (7-10-4) has won the last three matchups between the teams— including an 8-3 victory in the season opener—but has not experienced much success recently against anyone else.
The Panthers are 1-3-2 in their last six games and have just two wins in their last 10. Ville Peltonen scored early in the second period Saturday against the New York Islanders to tie the game at one, but Florida allowed three unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 defeat.
“It wasn’t a good result, so there’s no time to enjoy that goal,” Peltonen said. “We were just going and going to the net and shooting and shooting.”
The Panthers have outshot three straight opponents, including the Islanders 44-32 on Saturday. Ed Belfour and Alex Auld have split time in goal for Florida this season, and both have had success against the Bruins.
Belfour is 17-7-3 with a 2.31 GAA in 29 career games versus Boston, while Auld is 2-0 with a 2.51 GAA.
The Bruins are trying to conclude a three-game homestand with a perfect record, while the Panthers seek to improve their Eastern Conference-worst 1-6-3 road mark.