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NHL on NBCSN: Bruins look to keep rolling against Wild

Mar 17, 2014, 9:27 AM EDT

Jarome Iginla, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Cam Ward AP

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Boston Bruins host the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

When the Bruins host the Wild tonight it’ll mark their first match-up of the season. We’re this late into the season and these interconference foes will go from not playing each other to facing off twice in the next three weeks (April 8 in St. Paul).

Boston has won eight straight games and lead the Eastern Conference by three points. Their control of the Atlantic Division is something to behold as they lead the Montreal Canadiens by 14 points. To say they’re on a roll would be an understatement.

The Bruins have had their line of Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic, and David Krejci dominating opponents recently. Iginla has scored four goals and five points in the past four games while Lucic has two goals and six points in that span. Krejci, meanwhile, has 23 points in the past 21 games.

Throw in Tuukka Rask being one of the league’s top goalies and Zdeno Chara being one of the top defensemen and you’ve got a real buzzsaw of a team to get a handle of and that’s not even mentioning how good Patrice Bergeron has been this season as a two-way forward.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,200 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s late NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $275. Starts Monday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The Wild, meanwhile, are winless in four of the past five games. That run is discouraging when they’d won five in a row before running into some hard luck. If there’s a bonus in losing, three of those four losses have come in shootouts and the Wild are hanging onto the first wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Darcy Kuemper has jumped into the fire in goal and helped steady things. After losing Niklas Backstrom for the season to injury and Josh Harding‘s struggles with illness, goaltending became a big question. With how Kuemper has played, that’s not the case so much anymore.

The Wild’s offense has been coming from the guys they’ve needed to pick things up to make a playoff push and a dominant top line of their own.

The unit made up of Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, and Mikael Granlund have combined for 35 points since they were united on Jan. 30. Parise has a four-game point streak and has a scorching eight goals and nine assists in the past 13 games. Pominville has eight points in the past five games and Granlund has been electric since returning from Sochi with seven points in eight games.

The Wild could stand to see captain Mikko Koivu pick up his game. Since returning to action on March 3 from an ankle injury, he has just two assists. Ryan Suter is in a similar drought with just three assists since returning from Sochi.

As far as measuring stick games go, this is as big as it gets for the Wild. If they want to see where they’re at as a playoff contender, there’s

  1. madmax80 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Something’s Bruin

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Definitely didn’t nab that off the NHL.com front page.

      • madmax80 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        I definitely didn’t. That’s the advertising phrase of the Providence Bruins, their minor league team. This poster can can be seen in the background of Ben Stillers room in the movie Something About Mary.

        Dont you feel dumb?? (rhetorical question)

      • jcmeyer10 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Touche.

  2. bigbadbruins77 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Let’s go boys!

  3. upyourstodd - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    It is worth noting that the Wild have never lost in Boston and are 10-1-1 all time versus the Bruins.

  4. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Would mean a lot for fans’ confidence if the Wild win tonight, or at least are competitive to the tune of being able to find the back of the net more than once or twice. (What else is new)
    Koivu needs to step up in a major way. I was really unimpressed with his effort against rangers the other day. soft on the forecheck, really lacked aggression in the offensive end.
    Sounds like maybe everybody looked a little better against that tough Columbus team, though. Bobrovsky is a killer.
    Having said that, should be a good game tonight. Always an honor to get to play in Boston on st patty’s day.

    • spiciercheez - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      I just want someone to slightly cheap shot Koivu. I swear when he is angry he plays much much better. He can be a physical presence out there but on an average night he’s just not. Should be a fun atmosphere and a fun watch tonight.

  5. bruinsfan55 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Let’s go Bruins!

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