Bruins push point streak to 18 games

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NHL teams with rich histories provide handy measuring sticks for great play: match these legends and you know you’re doing something impressive.

Sidney Crosby just topped Jaromir Jagr‘s Penguins-specific heroics. In the case of the Boston Bruins, matching some of Bobby Orr’s accomplishments – individual and team – is quite the badge of honor. (Actually, not just for the Bruins, but you catch the drift.)

For the first time since 1968-69, when Orr was really starting to come into his own with 64 points in 67 games (he generated a ludicrous 120 the next season), the Bruins have generated at least one standings point in a whopping 18 games. You might give them the tiebreaker since 14 of their 18 points came from wins:

In Thursday’s case, it was a 3-2 victory against the Ottawa Senators.

The Bruins managed this win without one of their modern stars, as Brad Marchand sat for the first contest of a five-game suspension.

[Why Marchand is so frustrating.]

As NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty notes, players getting a bump with Marchand out of the lineup ended up picking up some of the scoring burden.

With the Tampa Bay Lightning starting to pick up steam again, the Bruins will need to keep this outstanding hot streak going through Marchand’s suspension, at least if they want to push for the Atlantic Division crown.

Such a thought, not to mention how much of a shoulder shrug it is to beat a Senators team that bumped them from last year’s first round, really cements just how far this team has come lately.

It’s likely that they’ll finish second in the Atlantic, but either way, they should be taken seriously as a legitimate threat in the East. If they can keep it going with Marchand, the Bruins will be that much scarier.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.