8 is Great: Top line shines as B's smash Carolina 5-1 for eighth straight win
Eight is certainly great.
The Bruins blew by the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 at the Garden for their eighth straight win with goals from Jarome Iginla (2), Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly, and Torey Krug.
Backup Chad Johnson turned aside 29 shots to pick up his 14th win of the season.
The Bruins controlled the play for the entirety of the game, and save for a brief moment of push-back from Carolina in the third, the Bruins squeezed the life out of the Hurricanes and blew the game open with three goals in the last 12 minutes of play.
The Bruins top-line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla all recorded multi-point games, including Iginla's two goals and Krejci's three assists.
It's the franchises longest winning streak since November 2011 when they won 10 straight.
The top-line rolled (via M. Dwyer)
Milan Lucic opened the scoring at 15:28 of the first with his 21st of the season and extending his point streak to four games. The lone assist went to David Krejci. After Carolina failed to enter the Bruins' zone, Lucic went back the other way with Krejci and Jarome Iginla skating up the left side. Lucic flipped the puck over to Krejci, and even while getting tripped by Eric Staal before passing back to Lucic, still managed a perfect strike back to the waiting big manwho beat Cam Ward with the open net in front of him.
Boston held the 1-0 lead until Jarome Iginla doubled it at 17:24 of the second period, bagging his 22nd of the season and also extending his point streak to four games. Again it was Krejci and Lucic who made the play happen. Lucic entered the zone like a bull and took 'Canes defenseman Jay Harrison into the corner. Lucic passed back to Krejci who gave it right back to Lucic behind the net. Lucic's slick backhand pass found Iginla in the face-off circle, who beat Ward in the top corner with the wristshot.
After being dominated for much of the game, Alexander Semin finallygot the Hurricanes on the board at 3:53 of the third. Off a face-off win in the Bruins' zone, Semin's wrist shot waffled from the start and took a deflection off Carl Soderberg that fooled Chad Johnson and bounced past him for the goal. It was Semin's 19th of season.
Boycuck throwing the body (via M. Dwyer)
Similar to the game Thursday night vs Phoenix, the visitors finally got one on the board and cut the lead in half, when in reality the lead should have been much bigger.
But unlike Thursday, the Bruins did not just hold on for the win, they poured in three more goals to put the game to bed.
The Bruins got their third goal of the day after a beautiful sequence, as Chris Kelly put home a slick David Krejci pass for his 7th of the year at 12:49. The third line entered the zone, but Carl Soderberg peeled off for a line change, and on came Krejci. Out of the scrum in the corner, Kelly found Doug Hamilton at the blueline, who found Krejci in the face-off circle. Kelly kept his legs moving, and Krejci found him just in front of the crease to slip the puck into the net.
Jarome Iginla struck again on the very next shift, scoring just 13 seconds later when Iginla was left all alone in front of the net to roof the pass from Kevan Miller past Ward. Miller was a man possessed, leading the dump-and-chase against three 'Canes behind the net and muscling them all off before slipping the puck to the waiting Iginla.
Torey Krug put in the fifth goal on the day after scoring from the blueline with just nine seconds to go, in case there was any doubt in the outcome. It was Krug's 14th goal of the year and tied him with some guy named Bobby Orr for the most goals scored by a rookie defenseman in Bruins history.
It's the Bruins' 45th win of the season, bringing their point total to 95 games, and with Pittsburgh's 4-0 loss to the Flyers earlier in the day, the Bruins are now 3 points ahead of the Pens with both having played 66 games.
But why stop there! Boston is now tied with San Jose and Anaheim for second place in the league at 95 points each. St. Louis leads the pack with 97 points.
This winning streak the Bruins are on is remarkable when factoring the schedule in which they are playing. After losing their first two games out of the Olympic break and looking awful doing so, the B's have found their best form of the season and vaulted themselves to the top of the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins next play on St. Patrick's Day vs the Minnesota Wild .
It one of the more rare scenes of Bruins hockey, it was Doug Hamilton who threw the body into Jeff Skinner, lining him up as he skated backwards in the defensive zone and trucked him with his shoulder. It was quite an awesome open-ice hit.
Johnny Boychuck took a wicked smack into the end boards at the hands of Patrick Dwyer, as he tripped him as the two went into the corner. It was a boarderline play, as Dwyer was reaching for the puck, but instead got his stick in between his legs and gave a push on his back to send him over. That being said, Dwyer should have definitely received a penalty, and he did not.
Boychuck sat out a shift or two but did return to the game a few minutes later. And on his first shift back he blocked a slapshot in most likely the same spot as were he hit the boards. The guy couldn't catch a break.
Matt Lindblad skated in his first career NHL game, partaking in 8:25 of skating time.