A pair of Original Six rivals could have the longest winning streak in the NHL this season with a win Saturday.
The New York Rangers
and Boston Bruins
have both won seven consecutive contests, and both are in action Saturday night looking for No. 8. New York faces Montreal at Bell Centre, while Boston is on Long Island to meet the New York Islanders
Both teams matched the Washington Capitals
for the longest streak in 2011-12 at seven with a victory earlier this week. The Rangers got there first with a 4-2 victory Tuesday against the Islanders, while the Bruins reached seven straight wins two days later by fending off a desperate Columbus Blue Jackets
team in a 2-1 shootout victory.
The defending champion Bruins did not begin their defense well, but they are rolling now. Boston lost seven of 10 to start the season, but the calendar flipped to November and things have changed dramatically for the Bruins.
Nash feeling the pressure
Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer
As captain of a team that's off to a 3-13-1 start, Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash
is facing perhaps the toughest stretch of his career. READ MORE ›
"The word that pops into my head is invested," Tim Thomas
said. "We're mentally invested. We're physically invested. We're emotionally invested."
Added coach Claude Julien
: "Whether that has something to do with June [and a Cup hangover] or not I haven't got a clue. I know that we just weren't playing good enough and in the last couple of weeks we're back to doing the things that made us successful."
The Bruins have collected six of their seven victories at TD Garden, though the next three contests are away from home. Boston will also travel to division rivals Montreal and Buffalo before playing at home again Friday against Detroit in the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown.
New York has also benefited from some time at home during the current run of success. The Rangers began the season in Europe for two games, and then had a trip to Western Canada to allow extra time for renovations at Madison Square Garden to be completed.
The Rangers lost their first two games at the renovated Garden, but they've won five straight at MSG. This contest at Montreal is the second of four straight away from home that are stretched over 11 days in part because of a pair of college basketball tournaments at the Garden.
"I think guys are beginning to find their game," coach John Tortorella told reporters. "I think we've played better away from the puck, which has produced more offense for us. It's not just one thing, it's just guys trying to find their game and trying to do the small things within our team concept."