Bruins Point Streak Comes To An End

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Pittsburgh Penguins' Jared McCann (19) prepares to put a shot around Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) for a short-handed goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, March 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Boston Bruins fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 on Sunday night. The loss marked the end of a 19-game point streak for the black and gold. It was the second longest streak in franchise history, the first being a 23-game point streak in the 1940-41 season.

The game-winning goal for the Penguins came on the power play. Sidney Crosby found Jake Guentzel driving to the net who put one past Jaroslav Halak on the blocker side.

Guentzel’s 34th goal of the season made it 3-1 Penguins.

Bruins defenseman John Moore scored at the 18:59 mark of the third period before Jared McCann potted an empty net goal for the Penguins, putting the game out of reach.

Looking back

The historic point streak for the Bruins began on January 29 with a shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets. The streak also included seven consecutive wins, a sweep in California and a shootout victory against the defending Western Conference champions.

On February 3, the Bruins snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Washington Capitals.

Even when games seemed all but over, the B’s managed to keep their point streak alive. On Thursday night against the Florida Panthers, the Bruins trailed 3-2 with under a minute to go in regulation. Thanks to goals from Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins won a thriller of a game to make it 18 in a row with at least a point.

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Injuries

Grzelcyk was injured in the Bruins’ loss to the Penguins on Saturday night. The Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist came from behind Grzelcyk and checked Grzelcyk’s outstretched arm into the boards.

Fortunately for the Bruins, the x-rays came back negative.

That being said, the Bruins have struggled with injuries all year long. Currently, Grzelcyk, Kevan Miller, Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak are all listed on the injury report.

So far, the Bruins have managed without Pastrnak, who remains the team’s leading goal scorer. David Krejci has stepped up in his absence, having one of the best years of his career. The second line centerman has tallied 19 goals and 41 assists on the year so far. What’s even more impressive is that Krejci has different wingers almost every game. At times it’s been DeBrusk and Marcus Johansson. Against the Penguins, it was Peter Cehlarik and Lee Stempniak.

The playoffs

The Bruins have 13 games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season. Nine of those 13 games will be played away from TD Garden. The Bruins sit 15 points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division and four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place. With first place all but locked up for the Lightning, the attention turns to the inevitable first-round matchup with the Leafs. Having defeated the Leafs in game seven of last year’s playoffs, the importance of home ice cannot be overstated.

The NHL playoffs begin in one month. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

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