Are the Bruins the best team in the NHL?

Are the Bruins the best team in the NHL?
Bruins notebook: David Pastrnak hopes to start new streak
nHe has enjoyed two extended points streaks this season and can begin a third when the B’s host the Calgary Flames tonight.

“You can’t get them all in every night,” Pastrnak said yesterday. “Sometimes they are not going to go in, and you have to execute more when you get those opportunities.”

Bruins notebook: David Pastrnak hopes to start new streak

Pastrnak went on a 12-game tear, the longest points streak in the NHL this season, which included five goals and eight assists from Nov. 22 to Dec. 18.

Bruins notebook: David Pastrnak hopes to start new streak
Bruins notebook: David Pastrnak hopes to start new streak

What we learned in the NHL over the last week: Bruins are surging

The team’s top three scorers — Brad Marchand (53 points, 21 goals), Patrice Bergeron (49 points, 25 goals) and Pastrnak (51 points, 21 goals) — make up one of the most dangerous and efficient scoring lines in the NHL.

But the Bruins got their scoring from other sources against the Devils. Defenseman Torey Krug notched two special-teams goals, one shorthanded and one on the power play.

Tim Schaller added a second shorthanded goal on a wraparound with three seconds to play in the first. Defenseman Adam McQuaid scored his first of the season on an off-balance chip shot from the right point.

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Devils goaltender Schneider out another week with injury

Bergeron completed the Bruins’ scoring with an empty-net goal set up by Marchand. The Bruins need contributions from all four lines and the back end but must have their top unit leading the charge.

Devils losing streak hits four with 5-3 loss to the Bruins

“Every time, we try and make an offensive play and get a goal or something,” Pastrnak said. “Obviously there are going to be periods when you are not going to be up.

“That’s when you have to apply your game all the time. And a lot of times on those back-to-back games, usually your legs are not there for you. You have to make sure you are there at the beginning.”

Slumping Devils Fall Short To Boston Bruins

The Bruins’ records in road games (16-5-4) and in back-to-backs contests (12-5-3) have elevated them to the same echelon as Tampa Bay, Washington, Toronto and Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference.

The Devils announced the NHL awarded Taylor Hall and Will Butcher assists on the team’s only goal in a 6-1 loss to Columbus on Saturday.

Bruins notebook: Anton Khudobin keys team’s bounceback victory

The B’s haven’t lost in regulation on the road since a 5-3 setback at Nashville on Dec. 4, but they will be hard-pressed to maintain that dominance. After facing the Flames on home ice, the Bruins play their next five on the road with stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Buffalo.

NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils have placed top goaltender Cory Schneider on injured reserve with groin and hip injuries.

“I think we have a good mix of experienced guys in the room, and they have been there before,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.

What we learned in the NHL over the last week: Bruins are surging
What we learned in the NHL over the last week: Bruins are surging

“I thought (the Devils game) was a bit of a learning curve for a few of (the younger players), and our goaltending was very good. It has to be on the road because the home team has some pop and will attack.”

Rookie winger Danton Heinen continues to play beyond his level of experience. He made a smooth transition to the first line while Marchand served a five-game elbowing suspension. Heinen scored in two of the five games.

“We are happy where he is, and he’s done a good job from us moving around the lineup and both wings,” Cassidy said. “Consistency will take him to the next level, and being a little strong on the puck (is something) maturity will take care of.”

“We’re getting production up and down the lineup,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “If they shut down our top guys then someone else contributes. That’s a hallmark of our group, they like to pick each other up and know they don’t have to be the best player every night.”

Remember when the Boston Bruins lost to the Kings with 0.4 seconds remaining in overtime Oct. 28? A loss to the Ducks on Nov. 15 dropped Boston to 6-7-4. The Bruins have since become the hottest team in the league.

Their victory Sunday against the New Jersey Devils made them 19-2-3 over their last 24 games and extended their road point streak to 13 games (11-0-2), the longest in the NHL this season. Patrice Bergeron has entered the Hart Trophy conversation with 20 goals in his last 26 games.

Goalie Tuukka Rask went more than two months without a regulation loss and was the 11th goaltender in NHL history to earn at least a point in 21 consecutive decisions. Boston is also getting contributions from a stable of rookies, including Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk. Kings fans take note: McAvoy, a defenseman, is a future star whose style has been likened to Drew Doughty’s.

What Bruce Cassidy's Ice Time Dispersion Vs. Devils Told Us About Bruins' Depth, Trade Deadline Plans
What Bruce Cassidy’s Ice Time Dispersion Vs. Devils Told Us About Bruins’ Depth, Trade Deadline Plans

At the other end of the Eastern Conference spectrum are the New York Rangers. Sitting at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division with veteran winger Rick Nash on the trading block, management took the unusual step of publicly announcing their plans to overhaul the roster.

“As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character,” President Glen Sather and general manager Jeff Gorton wrote in an open letter to fans. “This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about & respect. While this is part of the game it’s never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we’re building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.”

The landing spot often mentioned for Nash is the Dallas Stars, whose coach, Ken Hitchcock, coached Nash with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Eddie Lacks Luck in 1st Devils Start

Mathew Barzal wasn’t a popular candidate for rookie of the year going into this season. Some outlets didn’t even have him as the top rookie candidate on his own team, the New York Islanders, and instead listed Josh Ho-Sang. Barzal leads all rookies in scoring with 59 points, 11 more than the next closest player, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks. More of a playmaker than a scorer, Barzal is a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy and would be the first Islanders winner of that award since Bryan Berard in 1997.

The Ducks welcomed a special guest last week when Nick Armstrong, 9, practiced with the team alongside his favorite players Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Armstrong has a congenital heart defect and, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to practice with the Ducks and attend a game.

Adam McQuaid’s 1st goal of season pushes Boston Bruins past Devils in back-and-forth game

Armstrong also announced the starting lineup in the locker room before the game against the Edmonton Oilers and joined Perry on the ice when Perry was announced as the first star of the game. The Ducks have long been one of the more proactive teams when it comes to fan interaction, and this latest outreach was a feel-good moment of the week.

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