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Daily Primer March 22: Bruins try for 12 in a row

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 12:10 AM / NHL Insider
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Daily Primer March 22: Bruins try for 12 in a row
The Boston Bruins play the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday seeking their 12th consecutive win and second in as many nights.

The Phoenix Coyotes will get the next chance to derail the Boston Bruins.

Boston comes to Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night seeking its 12th consecutive win and second in as many nights. The Bruins stretched their winning streak to 11, the longest in the NHL this season, by shutting down the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 in Denver on Friday. Backup goaltender Chad Johnson made 31 saves and the Bruins got goals from Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg as they became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Boston hasn't lost since March 1 and has outscored opponents 43-15 during its winning streak

Here's a look at all the action on a busy Saturday:

St. Louis Blues at Philadelphia Flyers -- The League-leading Blues went back home for a couple of days of practice after being whipped 4-0 by the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, missing a chance to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blues and Flyers haven't played since St. Louis won 4-2 at Wells Fargo Center in October 2011. The Flyers have won four in a row, including 4-2 against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, to move into second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins -- Tampa Bay will be going for its sixth straight victory when it comes to Consol Energy Center, trying to end an eight-game losing streak to the Penguins (all in regulation). The Lightning have scored 22 goals during the winning streak, including five each in road wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators this week. Pittsburgh is 1-2-1 in its past four and has dropped behind the Boston Bruins in the race for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are coming off a 5-4 road loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday when Detroit scored the game-winner with :00.4 left in overtime.

Detroit Red Wings at Minnesota Wild -- These former Central Division rivals, now playing in opposite conferences, haven't seen each other all season but will face off twice in as many days. Detroit has won three of four as it scrambles to make the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season; the injury-depleted Red Wings hope to have speedy center Darren Helm back in the lineup after he missed eight games with concussion-related issues. Minnesota is back at Xcel Energy Center after a 1-1-1 road trip that ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars -- The Senators' defensive struggles have all but ended their playoff hopes. They surrendered 13 goals in home losses to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning this week, leaving them nine points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 13 games remaining. The Stars' circumstances aren't anywhere near that dire, but Dallas went 0-3-0 on a road trip that ended with a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. The Stars are four points behind the Phoenix Coyotes, who hold the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Florida Panthers at Los Angeles Kings -- Each team is pretty much locked into where it will finish. The Panthers come to L.A. in seventh place in the Atlantic Division; the Kings are third in the Pacific and not likely to move higher or lower. Florida is 1-1-0 on a four-game trip that ends Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks and is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings ended a three-game losing streak Thursday by defeating the Washington Capitals 2-1 in a shootout, giving coach Darryl Sutter his 500th NHL win.

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs -- The Canadiens enter the night three points ahead of the Maple Leafs in the race for third place in the Atlantic Division and a guaranteed playoff berth. But Montreal comes to Air Canada Centre to begin a stretch in which it plays six of seven games on the road after a 3-2 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. The Maple Leafs, who've lost three in a row, could get a boost from the return of goaltender Jonathan Bernier and center Dave Bolland. They practiced Friday, and coach Randy Carlyle said each will be a game-day decision.

New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils -- This could be the Devils' season; they enter the game five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild-card spot in the East and trail the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals by four points. It's the Rangers' first visit to Newark since Oct. 19, and it comes one night after perhaps their biggest victory of the season, a 3-1 win at the Columbus Blue Jackets that moved them into third place in the Metropolitan Division and put them seven points ahead of the Devils. New Jersey will start goalie Martin Brodeur, who will be seeking his 50th regular-season win against the Rangers, and a little revenge after being driven from the net in the teams' prior game, a 7-3 loss on Jan. 26 at Yankee Stadium.

Carolina Hurricanes at Winnipeg Jets -- Carolina is nine points out of the second wild-card spot in the East after a 3-2 road loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, when they overcame a two-goal deficit on two goals by Alexander Semin only to lose on a shorthanded goal by Jonathan Toews. This is a game the Jets have to win; they are six points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the West and begin a five-game road trip Monday that includes games against all three California teams before ending in Arizona.

Boston Bruins at Phoenix Coyotes -- The Bruins are making winning look easy. They started backup goaltender Chad Johnson against the Colorado Avalanche, who have the seventh-best record in the NHL, and completely stifled one of the League's better offensive teams. Boston will try to do the same to the Coyotes, who have moved into the second wild-card spot in the West by winning three in a row, each by one goal, after a 2-1 loss to the Bruins in Boston on March 13.

Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers -- The latest edition of the Battle of Alberta will be fought by two teams that are trying to build a foundation for next season while avoiding last place in the Pacific Division. Calgary headed to Edmonton after a 6-5 home loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday. This is the finale of the five-game season series; the road team has won each of the first four games.

Washington Capitals at San Jose Sharks -- To say that the building now known as the SAP Center is not the Capitals' favorite place to visit would be putting it mildly. Washington won its first game in what was known as the San Jose Arena on Oct. 30, 1993, but hasn't since; the Sharks have 11 wins and a tie. In all, San Jose is 17-1-0 in its past 18 games against Washington. The Capitals are 1-0-1 on a three-game California trip; the Sharks are coming off an emotional 3-2 win against the Ducks on Thursday that moved them past Anaheim into first place in the Pacific Division.

Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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