Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Hurricanes in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
TWO THINGS TO KNOW
In 500th career game, Halak delivers: For just the fifth time in franchise history, the Bruins have reached the 20-win threshold in 28 or fewer games, with Boston’s 2-0 victory over the Hurricanes on Tuesday night securing the club’s eighth consecutive win and extending its point streak to 16 games at the friendly confines of TD Garden this year (12-0-4). Boston once again had a flair for the dramatics in its latest tilt, with a pair of goals from Charlie Coyle and David Krejci standing as the only tallies of the night for either side — both of which came in the final five minutes of regulation.
But for the first 55 minutes of game action, the Bruins failed to generate much in terms of sustained offensive pressure against James Reimer, including just two high-danger scoring chances during 5v5 play over the first two periods. With Boston’s offense stuck in the mud, the onus fell on Jaroslav Halak — appearing in his 500th career game — to keep things close against the ‘Canes. As has been the case for most of his tenure with the B’s, Halak was up to the task, posting the 49th shutout of his career off of a 24-save effort. Halak, who turned aside all four high-danger shots he faced in the victory, continues to give Boston one of the best 1-2 punches between the pipes, with the netminder now 7-1-3 on the season with a .934 save percentage. Don’t think it’d be an exaggeration to tab the veteran goalie as Don Sweeney’s top free-agent move since taking the reins of the organization.
Cassidy gets creative up front: The Bruins have managed to stay afloat during Patrice Bergeron’s extended absence due to injury, posting a perfect 5-0 record during this most recent stretch without their top-line center.
For the most part, the Bruins’ top-six unit has continued to be very lethal with No. 37 out of commission — especially with Bruce Cassidy having the luxury of keeping two of Boston’s three-headed monster up front intact in Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
But on Tuesday, Cassidy opted to completely juggle his top forward lines. While Pastrnak has occasionally been slotted down into the second line when Boston has needed a fresh look, Cassidy stuck with this assortment for most of the night against Carolina.