Boston Bruins

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Minnesota Wild, winners in Montreal on Monday night, did not arrive to Boston until 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Their first period against the Bruins a solid 16 hours later didn’t provide much relief; Minnesota was held without a shot on goal on their power-play opportunities and at one point went almost eight minutes without a shot on goal, and Jake DeBrusk made it 3-0 on Boston’s first power-play ‘shot’ of the night, which went off the logo on his jersey and through Alex Stalock.

It likely wasn’t the first time the Wild wondered why they even bothered getting off the plane in their 4-0 defeat.

“A tough one for Minny,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after his team’s season-high fifth straight victory. “We’ve been on the other side of it at times where you’re going from city to city, playing the night before, a tough game. I think the way you try to avoid helping them along is managing the puck and don’t give them easy chances.”

It was a clinic of a first period for the Bruins, all things considered.

Danton Heinen deflected a John Moore shot, Brad Marchand turned nothing into something with a tight angle shot that only No. 63 has mastered, and the aforementioned DeBrusk tally was literally met with a shrug from the celly-friendly winger.

“Every team wants to start better, every team wants to start with the lead, and it’s just a matter of trying to actually implement that and I thought we did a great job of that,” DeBrusk said. “And obviously when a team plays back-to-back, they have a late night, late travel day, and their down a couple going into the second on the road, it’s always tough and you feel like you’re chasing the game, so we just wanted to kind of keep it distant and play our game.”

The Bruins added a fourth goal behind a Patrice Bergeron power-play strike just 6:24 into the man advantage, a goal that required just 18 seconds of power-play time, and that was all the Wild needed to see to simply quit and snooze on the bench.

This helped Tuukka Rask, who faced some quality chances in the first period, to settle in for his first shutout of the season, a 24-save effort, and continue a recent hot run that could be the start of his annual heat-up.

“Results have been happening, yeah, so that’s good,” Rask said. “Yeah, felt good since November.

“I think our team defense the past few games at least has been very good and I think it shows on the scoreboard and in points. The last two games, I don’t think there’s too many odd-man rushes at all. I think we’re eliminating the offense of the opposing team very well and then getting rewarded at the other end, so that’s a great sign – the way we want to play.”

The win, which bumped Rask’s save percentage up to a .920 for the season, was also good for the 250th of his NHL career.

“It’s 250 wins,” Rask offered. “250 more to go.”

Boston, meanwhile, hopes to make it six in a row with a Thursday night visit from the Washington Capitals.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.