Less than 48 hours after one of their worst performances of the season against the Canadiens, the Boston Bruins came back with a far more determined effort this afternoon as they downed former teammate Andrew Ference and the Edmonton Oilers by a 4-0 score at the Garden. Back-up goaltender Chad Johnson earned his first shutout of the season with a 22 save performance and nine Bruins had a point in the victory, which keeps a six point cushion between the B’s and the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic division.
It’s been a busy few days when it comes to Boston Bruins hockey, but busy in a good way. After embarrassing the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday the Black and Gold ripped off convincing wins against both the Islanders (6-3) and Panthers (6-2) on consecutive nights, besting former Bruin Tim Thomas last night at the Garden. Boston’s top two lines remained sizzling, with seven of the team’s twelve goals coming from current top six forwards, while captain Zdeno Chara earned his 500th NHL point on Monday after scoring a goal against the Islanders. Let’s take a look at what’s going right at the moment for the B’s.
The Boston Bruins kicked off a busy stretch of four games in six nights today with a dominant 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jarome Iginla, pointless in his previous six games, led the way with two goals and two assists while linemate David Krejci tallied three helpers, and Tuukka Rask earned his 23rd victory of the season in net, a career high.
With a stretch of four games in six nights beginning on Saturday, the Bruins got some good news on the injury front today. Chris Kelly, sidelined since December 7th with a broken ankle courtesy of Pens winger Pascal Dupuis, returned to practice as the B’s prepare for a matinee matchup with the Flyers this weekend. Kelly had been skating on his own for the past couple weeks, but a return to team practice is another encouraging step towards getting back into game action. While coach Claude Julien didn’t have an exact timeline for the 33-year-old, he will travel with the team on a two game road trip and Claude added that he expected Kelly’s return hopefully “within the week.”
It was somewhat of a surprise coming out of this season’s training camp that defenseman Kevan Miller hung around as long as he did. Well not only has he continued to hang around, he’s now signed himself a two year, one way contract extension with the big club worth $1.6 million ($800k cap hit). The contract will keep him with the team* through the 2015-16 season, at which point he will hit unrestricted free agency.