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The Boston Bruins picked up some momentum heading into the holiday break.
They'll look to build on that success Tuesday when they open a four-game road trip at Nationwide Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Bruins (18-13-2) beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Saturday for their third straight victory. Boston has outscored its opponents 13-4 during its winning streak, which also included a victory at Ottawa and at home against Vancouver.
"It can be a stepping stone for our (upcoming) road trip," said goaltender Tim Thomas on the Bruins' official Web site of Saturday's win. "It just makes Christmas that much better (for us). And hopefully it does for the fans, too."
Marc Savard has two goals and six assists during the winning streak, while Marco Sturm has four goals and an assist over that span.
Patrice Bergeron has a goal and seven assists during the winning streak and four goals and 10 assists during a seven-game point streak that is one shy of his career high.
However, the Bruins also got offensive help from some more unlikely sources on Saturday, as Stanislav Chistov scored his second goal of the season and Milan Jurcina picked up his first. The two had combined for 22 goals in 229 games before the win.
"It's always important to be successful in this league," coach Dave Lewis said. "You can't keep counting on the same three, four guys."
Boston is 7-6-1 on the road this season and has won six of its last eight away from home. After this game the Bruins also will visit Chicago, Nashville and Toronto.
The Bruins have earned a point in each of their previous three trips to Columbus, losing in overtime in December 2000, while winning in February 2002 and November 2003.
The Blue Jackets (13-19-3) have won four of their last five at home, but are coming off Saturday's 4-0 road loss to the New York Islanders. They have dropped four of six overall and been outscored 9-0 in their last two defeats, both on the road.
"Some games, we show up for, and then we don't show up for games like tonight, and that's something we definitely have to work on," forward Rick Nash said Saturday. "We have to have more consistency. They took it to us right from the start of the game."
Frederik Norrena stopped 19 shots against the Islanders but fell to 7-7-1.
"I think we have to grow up as a team," Norrena said. "To be a playoff team, we have to show up every night."
The Blue Jackets added Ty Conklin to their roster to back up Norrena after Pascal Leclaire injured his hamstring during the Blue Jackets' 3-2 victory over Vancouver on Friday night.
However, Columbus announced Sunday that it had assigned Conklin to its American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.
-- Associated Press