Make it 12 straight wins: Bruins beat Coyotes with strong third period

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The Boston Bruins have recently proven to be unstoppable.

They won their 12th consecutive game, thanks to a huge third period against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night. Jarome Iginla scored twice, giving him 28 goals on the season, and Shawn Thornton deflected home the winner with less than four minutes remaining in the third period to give Boston a 4-2 victory.

Also impressive about Saturday’s win was Boston had played and won the night before on the road against the Colorado Avalanche to clinch a playoff spot. But 11 straight wins … that was so yesterday.

On Friday, it was back-up Chad Johnson who helped lead the Bruins to a victory. On Saturday against the Coyotes, Tuukka Rask was back between the pipes, and he made 31 saves for the win.

The Bruins are now up to an NHL best 103 points. As for the Coyotes, well, the loss makes things even more interesting in the Western Conference playoff race.

They remain in the second Wild Card spot with 79 points. However, the Dallas Stars, thanks to their win over the Ottawa Senators earlier in the day, moved to within two points of the Coyotes. Even the Vancouver Canucks, with 74 points, are still hanging around, but just barely.

For a full look at the Western Conference standings, click on this link.

Video: Avalanche blue liner Benoit makes the save on Bruins’ empty-net attempt

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Colorado Avalanche defenseman Andre Benoit saved what could’ve been a sure goal with a rather unconventional save.

Benoit threw himself in front of a Jarome Iginla empty-net attempt late in the third period of Friday’s game between the Avalanche and Boston Bruins. With the Avalanche down a pair of goals, and their net empty with Patrick Roy pulling Semyon Varlamov for the extra attacker, the Benoit save at least gave his team an extended chance at perhaps getting a goal to get back in this one.

In the end, however, the Bruins withstood any Colorado attack in the third period for a 2-0 victory. It’s Boston’s 11th consecutive win, which helped them clinch a playoff berth.

Bruins defeat Avalanche, win 11th straight game and clinch a playoff spot

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The Boston Bruins have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs – thanks to their 11th consecutive victory.

Yes, they have won 11 straight games and, with this latest run, have to be considered the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference later in the spring. The Bruins – Stanley Cup champions in 2011 and finalists in 2013 – held on to defeat the Colorado Avalanche by a final score of 2-0 on Friday night.

Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg provided all the offence the Bruins would need.

They would fend off the charges of the Avalanche, which included head coach Patrick Roy pulling Semyon Varlamov for the extra attacker with about five minutes remaining in the third period.

As per NHL.com, the Bruins would’ve clinch a post-season berth with any win over the Avalanche, or if they got a single point against Colorado and the New York Rangers lost in regulation to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

OK. The Rangers limited the options with their victory over Columbus earlier. But the Bruins didn’t seem to care about the scenarios. All they did was win. All they’ve been doing is winning.

Bruins not ruling out playoff return for Seidenberg

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From our friends at CSN New England:

The Bruins certainly aren’t getting their hopes up, but coach Claude Julien — like team president Cam Neely the day before — on Friday wouldn’t rule out the possibility that defenseman Dennis Seidenberg could rejoin the Boston lineup during the playoffs.

The German defenseman had surgery for a torn right ACL/MCL in early January after injuring his knee in a Dec. 27 game against the Ottawa Senators, and the Bruins said at the time he was done for the year.

The best-case scenario is that Seidenberg wouldn’t be ready until deep into a Boston playoff run, and even then there would be some hesitation to parachute someone who hadn’t played in six months into the most important games of the year.

Of late, the Bruins have been doing just fine without Seidenberg. And that’s an understatement. They head into tonight’s game with the Avs on a 10-game winning streak, a streak that’s pushed them four points ahead of Pittsburgh for the top seed in the East.

There does, however, remain concern that Boston’s back end — featuring the likes of Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller, Dougie Hamilton, and Torey Krug — lacks the requisite experience to excel in the playoffs.

Then again, even without Seidenberg, there’s still Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk, and a team could do worse than those two as veteran presences.

Bruins win 10th in a row, deal blow to Devils’ chances

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The Boston Bruins face a final month that may challenge their current place as the clear top team in the East, but they kept rolling against a far more desperate team on Tuesday. By beating the desperate New Jersey Devils decisively with a 4-2 score, Boston is now on a 10-game winning streak while their opponents’ playoff hopes seem to be dwindling.

Here are a few quick notes about the Bruins:

  • They’re generally winning in impressive ways. Only one win in this streak came via a shootout. Eight have come by two goals or more.
  • Again, things could hit a wall at some point, as nine of their last 13 contests are away from home. That being said, it’s not like they live off of home cooking alone; the Bruins are now 19-10-3 on the road this season.
  • They’ve beaten teams that needed the points badly in the process; only Florida is totally out of the playoff picture. Teams like the Coyotes, Devils and Capitals surely had more to gain in games against the B’s, but it didn’t matter.
  • Jarome Iginla scored the 556th goal of his career, tying him for 25th all-time. He’s now on a four-game goal streak (six in that span). He also has an impressive 26 on the season.

It almost seems like the reverse situation for the Devils. They’ve lost by a combined score of 12-5 in these past three games. The saving grace is that they play four more in a row in New Jersey and five of their next six in Newark overall, but time is running out for the Devils to turn things around.