BOSTON (AP)—Minnesota’s recipe for road success is simple. Play good defense in front of goalie Niklas Backstrom.
“I thought our goaltending was solid,” Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. “We tried to play as solid as possible defensively and make the most of our chances.”
Backstrom has appeared in 13 of Minnesota’s last 15 games. The Wild are 10-3-3 in their last 16 games while taking at least one point in nine of their last 11 road games.
The Wild are 4-0 in Boston and have only lost to the Bruins once in seven games.
“We got up early but they battled us to the end,” Rolston said. “Sometimes you don’t work as hard as you should and that is what happened tonight.”
Bouchard doubled the lead for the Wild when he converted a breakaway and slid the puck through Thomas’ legs with seven minutes remaining in the second.
“We’ve encountered some pretty hot goaltending the last few games,” Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward said. “The biggest mistake we could make right now would be to worry where these losses put us in the standings.”
The Bruins mustered one goal in consecutive home losses after a successful weekend beating archrival Montreal followed by a road win over New Jersey.
“Everybody lost ahead of us so that is good news,” Bruins center Marc Savard said. “The effort and confidence is there and we believe in ourselves.”
Boston struggled to get quality scoring chances. Marco Sturm failed to convert on a breakaway when he missed the net completely.
Bouchard and Todd White added assists for Minnesota, which has not allowed a power-play goal in eight games and 20 opportunities.
Thomas made 30 saves for the Bruins, who remain four points out of a playoff spot.
Boston is 1-for-25 on the power play over its last six games while killing 19 straight penalties.
Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson was out of the lineup with a broken wrist and could be gone for the season. … Mark Parrish returned to the lineup for the Wild but injured his knee in the third and did not return. … Boston’s top three centers—Savard, Patrice Bergeron and Phil Kessel—have not scored a goal in the last five games. … Pavol Demitra has 19 points in 15 games against Boston.