On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Boston Bruins shutout the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 as goalie Tuukka Rask made 25 saves and picked up his third shutout of the season.
Defenseman Charlie McAvoy cranked a slapshot through traffic that was deflected by goaltender Jacob Markstrom, but forward Charlie Coyle picked up the rebound and quickly buried the puck over the recovering goaltender. Markstrom had Bruins in his face all night, as Boston had several one-on-one attempts against Vancouver’s goaltender. However, he held strong and made miraculous saves throughout the night. Forward Brad Marchand got his 23rd goal of the season in the second period of the match thanks to an easy tip-in off a deflected shot from McAvoy.
The Bruins won their fifth straight game on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in an overtime thriller, 2-1 against the Chicago Blackhawks. McAvoy scored just over a minute into overtime, when he went to the net hard and tipped in Jake DeBrusk’s pass from the left faceoff circle. Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves in his third straight win as Boston continues to roll.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, center Patrice Bergeron had three points and Coyle scored two goals to lift the Bruins past the Coyotes, 4-2. Rask made 29 saves for the Bruins and picked up his 20th win of the season and his seventh win in eight starts. The Bruins have won six straight games and have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games. They face off next against the Montreal Canadians on Wednesday, Feb. 12, home at TD Garden
The Bruins are looking good heading into the playoff picture. The Boston Bruins are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 33-10-12 through 55 games. They’ve gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games, winning six straight games. The Bruins have a five-point lead over Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division and a one-point lead over the Capitals in the conference.
All around, the playoff race is heating up with some clear contenders pulling ahead and some teams on the bubble as well. There are between 28 and 30 games left in the season for teams to make a run for a playoff spot in either conference.
The Washington Capitals once again are one of the top teams among the Eastern Conference, as they are currently in second place with a record of 36-13-5, and have gone 6-4-0 in their last ten games. Washington looks to be a lock for the playoffs for their sixth consecutive season behind forwards T.J. Oshie and Alexander Ovechkin.
The Columbus Blue Jackets moved their way into the third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division going 9-0-1 in their last ten games. Their record is currently 30-16-9. They are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second-place spot and are only one point ahead of the New York Islanders.
The Florida Panthers are on the outside looking in for a spot in the race for the Stanley Cup. They are currently only one point away from Wildcard spot and two points out from third place in the Atlantic Division. In their last ten games, they have gone 7-2-1 pushing their record to 29-18-6 on the season.
On the Western Conference side, the St. Louis Blues are currently sitting in first place with a six-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division with 27 games remaining in the season. In their last ten games, they went 4-5-1 as their conference lead has started to slip away.
The Vancouver Canucks lead the Pacific Division with a record of 30-20-5 and 65 points. They have gone 6-3-1 in the last ten games to preserve the division lead. They are currently two points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights and three points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Arizona Coyotes are currently in the first Wildcard position in the Western Conference as the race for a playoff spot is tight. There is only a three-point gap between six teams fighting for the two Wildcard spots. The Coyotes have been cold lately though, going 2-5-3 in their last ten games bringing their record to 27-22-7 on the season.
The Nashville Predators are currently one point behind the Calgary Flames for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Predators have won their last two games and have gone 6-4-0 in the last ten games. They are on the outside looking in, but only being one point behind a playoff spot, there is plenty of time left in the regular season for them to push into the playoffs.