BOSTON BRUINS (45-17-5) VS MINNESOTA WILD (35-22-10)
10:01 p.m. - Third Period Snapshots: BOS 3, NJD 1
BRUINS TAME THE WILD: The Boston Bruins downed the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden 3-1, as the B's get offensive production from Jarome Iginla (Scored twice, playing in his 1,300th game), Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith. Tuukka Rask made 33 stops on 34 shots to earn his 31st win an the Black & Gold's 46th. The Bruins are back in action on tomorrow evening in New Jersey as they take on the Metropolitan Division Devils. Game time set for 7:00 PM ET.
SMITTY SCORES: Snapping a 15-game goal scoring drought, Reilly Smith notched his 19th goal of the year, off of a rebound on Patrice Bergeron shot at 7:50 into the third. Smith's last goal came on January 28th against the January 28 against the Panthers at TD Garden. Bergeron (15) and Chara (15) are awarded assists on the B's third goal of the game.
B'S POSTGAME COVERAGE: Stay tuned for our postgame coverage and follow us on Twitter @NHLBruins for quotes from the B's locker room and Head Coach Claude Julien.
BRUINS ON INSTAGRAM: Follow NHLBruins on Instagram for behind-the-scenes pictures and the best in-game photos: www.instagram.com/nhlbruins.
NEXT GAME: The Bruins are back in action on tomorrow evening in New Jersey as they take on the Metropolitan Division Devils. Game time set for 7:00 PM ET.
9:09 p.m. - Second Period Snapshots: BOS 2, MIN 1
MINNESOTA GETS ON THE BOARD: With 1:26 to go in the second, the Minnesota WIld got on the board when Jason Pominville took a slapper that shattered his stick, sending his stick-blade at Rask along with the puck. The puck managed to make its way through for Pominville's 26th goal of the year as the stick blade slid by Rask just left of the goal. Earning assists on the goal were Suter (31) and Garlund (30).
SODERBERG FEEDS LOUI: The Bruins doubled their lead at the 8:05 mark, when Carl Soderberg wheeled around the net and patiently waited until he found a seam to feed Loui Eriksson waiting on the doorstep, who then punched in his eighth goal of the season. The well-timed pass earns Sodeberg his 27th assist of the year on the transaction. Great hustle play by Soderberg, who's really come into his own this season. The Bruins are 125-7-6 since the start of the 2010-11 season in games in which they have held a two-goal lead in a game.
IGGY THROWS A CHANGEUP: When you're hot, you're hot. At 3:52 into the second period, Jarome Iginla extended his point streak to five straight games with his 24th goal of the season with the help of a little Irish St. Paddy's Day luck on the tally. The shot was a bit of a change up for Minnesota goaltender Darcy Kuemper as Iginla shot the puck hard, but was abruptly deflected and slowed, causing the puck to knuckle past Kuemper to give the B's the lead. Earning assists on the play were Matt Bartkowski for his 15th of the year and Andrej Meszaros for his 13th of the season.
8:30 p.m. - First Period Snapshots: BOS 0, MIN 0
SCORELESS THROUGH THE FIRST: Both goaltenders were perfect through the first frame of action with Rask stopping the eight shots he faced and Kuemper haulting 10. Tonight marks the 18th game that the Bruins and their opponent have played a scoreless first period and are 14-3-0 in those games.
WILD OUTSHOOTING B'S: A little over ten minutes into the first period the Wild were outshooting the the Bruins by a 7-3 margin. The Bruins two best chances came on a David Krejci redirect chance from Milan Lucic and a Jarome Iginla opportunity, who battled to punch one in on the doorstep. Minnesota netminder Darcy Kuemper however held strong to eliminate both threats rendering the Black & Gold scoreless. Fast-paced, skilled hockey so far by both squads.
BRUINS GO ON THE PK: At the 15:10 mark the Bruins were sent on their first penalty kill of the evening when Andrej Meszaros was whistled for tripping. Entering the evening the B's PK was 186-for-222 (83.8%, 10th NHL) in the season, against the Wild's power play that was 38-for-208 (18.3%, T-14th NHL). The Bruins kept the Wild at bay, due in large to key saves from goaltender Tuukka Rask, who's best stop came on the doorstep shortly before the penalty expired.
6:30 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots: BOS vs. MIN
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (30-14-4, 2.10 GAA, .928 Save %) vs. Kuemper (12-4-4, 2.19 GAA, .924 Save %). Rask is 1-1-0 with a 1.45 GAA and .952 save % in two career games against Minnesota. This will be Kuemper’s first career start against the Boston Bruins.
BRUINS VS WILD LIFETIME: The Bruins and Wild will meet for the 13th time in their franchise histories this evening. The B’s have compiled a 2-10-0-0 record in those matchups and have been outscored, 35-16. The Black & Gold are 0-6-0-0 in their six lifetime meetings against the Wild in Boston, with Minnesota holding scoring advantage of 19-6 in those contests.
2014 BOSTON BRUINS MIAA SPORTSMANSHIP AWARDS & CHEEVER GRANT: For the twelfth consecutive year, the MIAA and Boston Bruins have partnered to honor a student-athlete from every boys and girls high school ice hockey league in the state for best exemplifying a commitment to the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the season. The student-athletes will be honored on the Bruins bench during the first intermission of tonight’s game. Also during the first intermission the Boston Bruins Foundation will present a check for $226,054 to MA Hockey, a portion of the funds will be delegated as Cheever Grants to twelve MA youth hockey organizations. The grant money is raised through the sale of Boston Bruins “Invest in Youth Hockey” MA license plates.
CUTS FOR A CAUSE: Shawn Thornton is teaming up with 98.5 The Sports Hub and 19 of his teammates for the seventh annual "Cuts for a Cause" event on Wednesday, March 26 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Thornton and teammates will have their heads shaved by auction winners to show their support and raise money for the Shawn Thornton Foundation, Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Beginning on March 18 at 9:00 a.m., fans can bid on the opportunity to shave the head of their favorite participating Bruins player by visiting bostonbruins.com/cutsforacause. Bidding ends on Friday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m. Auction winners will also receive admission to the VIP session, where they will meet and greet the players on the event floor and receive a special Bruins gift bag that includes autographed Bruins memorabilia.
IGINLA MILESTONE WATCH: Forward Jarome Iginla is expected to play in his 1,300th NHL game tonight, becoming the fifth active player (Jaromir Jagr, NJD; Teemu Selanne, ANA; Ray Whitney, DAL; Shane Doan; PHX) and 55th overall to reach the milestone... Iginla is also three goals shy of tying Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk (556) for 25th place on the all-time NHL goals list.
STAYING POSITIVE: Patrice Bergeron enters into tonight’s game in the league lead in plus/minus rating at plus-32. David Krejci is tied for second in the NHL (Matt Niskanen, Pittsburgh) at plus-31, while Johnny Boychuk is tied for third at plus-30 (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose)... Entering tonight Boston ranks second in the league in GF/GA differential at plus-69, behind St. Louis’s plus-72. The Bruins have allowed the second fewest goals in the league at 146 (Los Angeles, 144).
GIVING SOME POINTERS: In their last 14 games, the line composed of Jarome Iginla, David Krejci and Milan Lucic has racked up 47 points with Iginla’s 17 (8-9), Krejci’s 14 (5-9) and Lucic’s 16 (6-10). Krejci’s 59 points (16-43) leads the team, followed by Iginla’s 53 (23-30) and Lucic’s 52 (21-31).
STREAKING: The Bruins have won eight straight games which is their longest such streak since a 10-game stretch from November 1 – 23, 2011… Forwards Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic ride a four-game point streak entering today with Iginla tallying 4-1=5 totals and Lucic recording 2-6=6 totals during that span.
201 AND COUNTING: Following Saturday’s home game against the Carolina Hurricanes the Boston Bruins have sold out 201 straight regular season and playoff games. This sellout streak began on December 5, 2009 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last game the Bruins did not have 17,565 in attendance at the Garden was on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 when they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning (16,553).
WILD NOTEBOOK: Tonight marks game one of a three-game road stretch for the Wild that will also see them face the New York Rangers (3/18) and New Jersey Devils (3/20)… Minnesota has earned points in 10 of its last 11 games (6-1-4) and 15 of its last 18 (10-3-5), dating back to January 16… Jason Pominville and Zach Parise each enter tonight riding a four-game point streak with both player each accruing five points apiece during that span… Mikko Koivu (175-308=435 totals) currently sits two points shy of tying Marian Gaborik (219-218=437) for the most points in franchise history.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 39-for-190 (20.5%, 8th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 186-for-222 (83.8%, 10th NHL)… Wild power play: 38-for-208 (18.3%, T-14th NHL), Wild penalty kill: 166-for-206 (80.6%, T-22nd NHL).