By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
24 hours after a perfect power play and penalty kill pushed them to a 2-1 win in Winnipeg, the Bruins remained more than sufficiently powered-up for a 6-1 win over the Wild on Saturday night.
Up 1-0 through the opening 20 minutes of action thanks a tremendous one-man Torey Krug finish on Devan Dubnyk, the Bruins began their power-play party on their first power-play opportunity of the evening, drawn when Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman was whistled for interference on Krug just 3:49 into the second period.
The Bruins needed just 50 seconds to make that opportunity count, as Krug blasted a puck off Dubnyk and over the goal line for his second strike of the evening. And almost immediately after the Krug goal, the Bruins found themselves going back to the man advantage following Eric Staal’s interference penalty.
It was an undoing that nullified all of the positives the Wild had established prior to the Krug goal, and put Minnesota in a three-goal hole thanks to a Brad Marchand goal 34 seconds into the B’s second power-play opportunity of the evening.
Then David Pastrnak decided to tie his career-high with his 38th goal of the season, scored on the man advantage just a minute into Boston’s third opportunity of the evening, and this contest was over.
For the Bruins, it was as high-powered as it was efficient.
In what finished as a three-opportunity middle frame for the Black and Gold, the Bruins needed just eight shots and 2:21 of total time to blow a helpless Dubnyk and the Wild out of the building with three goals.
Minnesota would get themselves on the board in garbage time by way of Mats Zuccarello’s 14th goal of the season, scored with 5:29 remaining in the third period. But the B’s made sure to hammer Dubnyk for two more by the night’s end, courtesy of Anders Bjork (his ninth of the year) and the 17th goal of the season from Jake DeBrusk.
Dubnyk finished with 28 saves on 34 shots thrown his way, while the Bruins’ Jaroslav Halak finished with a 25-of-26 stat line in the Boston crease for his 13th win of the season and his first winning streak since early December.
With the victory, the Bruins not only swept the season series with Minnesota, but they also extended their winning streak over the Wild to six games.
The B’s beat Minnesota without both Danton Heinen and Sean Kuraly in Saturday’s lineup. According to Bruce Cassidy, Heinen was injured late in Friday’s win over the Jets and entered the day as a game-time decision, while Kuraly’s absence seemed to be performance related, as Cassidy wants to revive the idea of competition across the board. Anton Blidh stepped in for Heinen, while Par Lindolm replaced Kuraly in the middle of Boston’s fourth line.
One other interesting tweak to the B’s lineup — at least in lettering — came with the ‘A’ stitched on Charlie Coyle’s sweater. This was the first time that the Weymouth, Mass. native, who played the first 479 games of his NHL career in a Wild sweater, skated with a letter on his B’s jersey. Nice touch in Coyle’s second game back in Minny since being traded to Boston. Ryan Donato, meanwhile, sat out of this contest as a healthy scratch. Oof.
The Bruins will return to Boston for a Tuesday night meeting with the Canucks.