Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Red-hot Wild face test vs. NHL-best Bruins

Field Level Media
18 Mar 2023, 02:40 GMT+10

The Minnesota Wild have earned at least one point in each of their last 14 games and will be looking to extend that streak when they meet the Boston Bruins on Saturday at Saint Paul, Minn.

Minnesota is 11-0-3 amid a 14-game point streak that is a franchise record. The team's last regulation setback came on Feb. 15 in a 3-2 home loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

Minnesota (39-21-8, 86 points) is coming off Wednesday's 8-5 road win over the St. Louis Blues when Ryan Hartman scored two goals and collected an assist. St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington was ejected for throwing a punch at Hartman following the latter's second goal.

The Wild trailed the Blues 3-1 after one period but scored five goals in the second. The eight goals matched another franchise record.

"There was a lot of stuff, obviously, but the bottom line is we got two points," Wild coach Dean Evason said. "We had to stay out of the penalty box. They scored two power-play goals in the first. We had to control that a bit.

"Once the second period (began), we gathered ourselves a bit. We stayed out of the box and played a lot better hockey. We played more in their end, and we got rewarded for it."

Boston (51-11-5, 107 points) killed off five power plays and received a 36-save performance from Jeremy Swayman in Thursday's 3-0 road victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Boston had lost its previous two games - the first time it absorbed back-to-back regulation losses this season.

It was Swayman's third shutout this season and eighth career.

"I thought we were a little too loose defensively in the first 40 minutes and I think (Swayman) had to be terrific - and he was terrific," Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. "That might have been his best game of the year and he's had a lot of good ones.

"The goaltenders were not excused from needing a reset. I think our whole team needed a reset, and our goalies are a huge part of the success we've had all year and our team went into a little bit of a funk there, hopefully we're done with it."

Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort blocked a shot in the second period of Thursday's game, left the ice and did not return. Montgomery said it's unlikely Forbort will play in the two remaining games on Boston's current five-game road trip.

The Bruins failed to score on any of their eight power play opportunities during the first three games of the road trip.

David Pastrnak leads Boston in scoring with 46 goals and 44 assists. Kirill Kaprizov has a team-high 74 points (39) goals for the Wild, but hasn't played since March 9 because of a back issue and isn't expected back in the lineup until April.

This will be the second meeting between the teams this season. Boston won the first matchup 4-3 at Boston on Oct. 22 when Taylor Hall scored a power-play goal 4:49 into overtime. Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon tied the game 3-3 at 15:29 of the third.

Linus Ullmark made 24 saves for Boston. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 39 shots for the Wild.

--Field Level Media

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