The Boston Bruins have earned at least one point in six straight games and are atop the Northeast Division. If history plays a role, extending that streak against the Minnesota Wild may be a difficult task.
The Wild look to remain unbeaten all time in Boston when they meet the Bruins on Thursday night.
Since joining the NHL in 2000-01, Minnesota is 5-0-0 at TD Garden and has posted two shutouts while outscoring the Bruins 16-5. Overall, the Wild are 8-1-1 versus Boston, but lost 2-1 in a shootout during the most recent meeting on Nov. 25, 2009 in St. Paul.
Minnesota (19-15-5) is in position for a season high-tying three-game winning streak after Tuesday’s 2-1 victory against New Jersey.
Clayton Stoner(notes) scored his first NHL goal on a dump-in from near center ice when the puck hit a partition and trickled past Johan Hedberg(notes), who had left the crease in anticipation of the puck traveling behind the net.
“I was thinking about burning the tape and telling everyone a different story a few years from now,” Stoner said jokingly. “Sometimes you need that lucky goal to win a hockey game.”
The goal proved to be the game-winner and gave the Wild their third victory in four games. That also came after Minnesota tied a season-high for goals when Pierre-Marc Bouchard(notes) scored with 26 seconds remaining Monday in a 6-5 win against Phoenix.
“I wasn’t sure what we were going to get tonight coming off of (the win),” coach Todd Richards said. “You look at our past, coming off big wins, we haven’t responded.”
Jose Theodore(notes) made 21 saves in winning his second straight start in place of Niklas Backstrom(notes), who is 3-0-1 with a 1.23 goals-against average against the Bruins in his career. He turned aside 28 shots in a 1-0 victory on Jan. 6, 2009 in Boston.
This time, Minnesota is facing a Bruins team that is 4-0-2 in their last six.
After two straight shootout losses, Boston (21-11-6) completed a five-game road trip Monday with a 2-1 victory against Toronto. Tuukka Rask(notes), making his second straight start after he and Tim Thomas(notes) struggled in Saturday’s 7-6 defeat to Buffalo, made 36 saves to improve to 3-7-1 with a 2.63 GAA.
It’s unclear who will start Thursday, but Rask was in net when Boston last beat Minnesota.
Marc Savard(notes), who sat out the first 28 games with post-concussion symptoms, scored his second goal of the season, and linemate Nathan Horton(notes) notched his 12th against the Maple Leafs. The two, along with Milan Lucic(notes) had played six games together without scoring.
“That’s just the character we have, the three of us, we stuck together,” Savard said. “We never got in any arguments, we actually worked harder together and had harder practices, too. Tonight we got rewarded.”
Lucic ended a seven-game scoreless streak with an assist on Savard’s goal. Lucic, who needs one goal to match his career-high of 17 set in 2008-09, has none in three career games against the Wild.