Tag: winning streaks

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders

Bruins can’t slow down despite eighth consecutive win


The Boston Bruins are putting the slow start to 2011-12 about as far away in their rear-view mirrors as possible. The B’s notched their eighth win in a row by pummeling the New York Islanders by a score of 6-0. They’ve now out-scored opponents 42-14 during that jaw-dropping stretch. Tim Thomas took the 22-save shutout while Chris Kelly got in the scoring mix with two goals.

Amazingly, the Bruins remain behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres for the Northeast Division lead. The Leafs and Sabres have 24 points while Boston has 22, although the B’s hold two games in hand.

In a way, it echoes the point I made about the New York Rangers’ seven-game winning being over; there’s so much parity in the league that there’s rarely a dull moment – even for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Six of their next nine games come away from Boston, so the Bruins can’t sit back on their latest accomplishments.

Streaks extended: Rangers and Bruins narrowly escape with victories

New Jersey Devils v Boston Bruins

They say that all good things come to an end. Well, not tonight.

Despite some shaky stretches for both the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins, each of the Original Six members were able to extend their respective winning streaks with tight victories on Tuesday night. They may not have been pretty, but a win is a win.

The red-hot Bruins welcomed the Devils to TD Garden on Tuesday night. The Bruins entered the game scoring at least six goals in each of their last four games. Any time a team nets thirty goals over a week and a half, they’re going to win their fair share of games. They needed every bit of firepower they could find against the Devils as the game went back and forth for 57 minutes. With three minutes left, Benoit Pouliot scored what proved to be the game winner for the Bruins in their 4-3 victory. Not Tyler Seguin. Not Patrice Bergeron. No, it was Benoit Pouliot—the man who Jack Edwards described as, “a chump” and “one of the greatest disappointments of talent in National Hockey League history.”

Yeah, things are going so well in Boston that Pouliot and Edwards may even buy each other drinks right now. This is what happens when a team outscores their opponents 34-13 over a six game stretch. People buy each other drinks.

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Down the Atlantic coast, the Rangers should have had an easier opponent when they traveled to Long Island to face the Islanders. At least that’s how it looked on paper. But they didn’t play the game on paper—they played it in a building that has been begging for a wrecking ball for the last decade. Any game between the Rangers and Islanders can go either way; such is life with bitter rivalries.

Like the Bruins/Devils game, it took a late 3rd period goal to seal the deal in a 4-2 victory for the Rangers. This time, it was Brad Richards blowing a slapshot by Evgeni Nabokov with less than five minutes to break the tie. The Rangers have now outscored their opponents 26-11 over their seven game winning streak and have the second best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers have the rest of the week off and don’t take the ice again until they faceoff with the Canadiens on Saturday. The Bruins will be a little busier as they face the struggling Blue Jackets on Thursday and Islanders on Saturday.

The big question: will either of these teams lose anytime soon?

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Sidney Crosby, Penguins remain hot with win over Devils; Pittsburgh now sits alone atop NHL standings

Sidney Crosby, Johan Hedberg
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Thanks to a 2-1 win over their former divisional tormentors from New Jersey, the Pittsburgh Penguins are now on a 10 game winning streak for the first time since a stretch between January 28 and February 15 of 1999. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the team’s stretch is Sidney Crosby’s personal scoring streak; he now has at least a point in 16 consecutive games (18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points).

His career high is a 19 game streak, which happened during the 2007-08 season.

Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1

Brian Rolston began the scoring in the game for the hard-luck Devils, who are now on a three game skid. Crosby assisted on a Chris Kunitz goal in the second period to tie the game up before earning the game winner just under 13 minutes into the third. (Kunitz was the other star in this one for the Pens, as he earned a helper on Crosby’s game winner.)

It was a great night of goaltending from both sides, as Marc-Andre Fleury reached a new career high with his ninth win in a row by making 27 out of 28 saves while former Penguins goalie Johan Hedberg was strong in his own right, stopping 32 out of 34 shots. The Devils have plenty of issues right now, but Hedberg is doing his best to help New Jersey at least be competitive.

Since losing two games in a row to begin the month of November, the Penguins are now on an astonishing 13-1-1 run in their last 15 games. Pittsburgh now stands atop both the Eastern Conference and the NHL standings with 40 points because the Washington Capitals coughed up a lead and lost in a shootout to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Washington is close behind with 39 points while the Detroit Red Wings sit at 37 points with four games in hand, so the Penguins still have a long way to go before they should start thinking about the Presidents Trophy.

Meanwhile, the Devils and Islanders trade self-inflicted blows to see which team will be crowned the worst team in the league.

Blue Jackets stay hot, Islanders without a win in last 14


Joe probably said it best when he tabbed tonight’s game as a possible “trap game” for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The hapless New York Islanders gave them a serious scare, managing to gain a brief 3-2 lead and pushing the red-hot Blue Jackets to overtime. Ultimately, though, the story remained the same: Columbus stayed hot while the Long Island gang remains without a precious “W.”

The Islanders are now dangerously close to that 17 game losing streak we discussed before, as they’ve gone 14 games without a win.

Columbus 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT)

Once again, Rick DiPietro kept his team in the game but couldn’t win it in overtime. He stopped 34 out of 38 shots, but couldn’t nab that final Jakub Voracek attempt in extra time.

Mathieu Garon continued to be the best backup this side of Brent Johnson, improving his 2010-11 record to 6-1 while allowing three goals, tied for the most he allowed all season long.

The best sign for the Blue Jackets might be that they won without a great performance by Rick Nash, who was held off the scoreboard and had a -2 rating. Instead, they scored by committee, with R.J. Umberger and Antoine Vermette leading the way with a goal and an assist each. Trent Hunter was arguably the best skater for the Islanders, also earning a goal and an assist.

The Red Wings still hold a marginal lead (really just a game in hand) on the Blue Jackets, but they are absolutely nipping at Detroit’s heels. The Central Division leaders dropped a 5-1 game to the Atlanta Thrashers, so their lead is razor thin as the two teams ready for a big (at least, at this point in this season) home-and-home series.