BOSTON — They’ve been hard to come by this season, but the Bruins scored one on Tuesday night at TD Garden.
A routine victory.
The B’s scored three first-period goals and cruised from there to a 4-0 victory over the tired Wild, who played their third game in four nights on Monday night in Montreal. The Bruins improved to 3-0 on a four-game homestand that wraps up on Thursday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals.
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves to record his first shutout of the season. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand led the offense with a goal and two assists apiece.
The Bruins, having matched their season-best four-game win streak (Oct. 4-13), were in pursuit of a fifth straight victory for the first time since they won six in a row from Feb. 27 through March 10 of last season. The Wild were trying to close an Atlantic Division road trip with a perfect 4-0 record, after taking one-goal wins at Toronto (4-3), Ottawa (4-3) and Montreal (1-0).
Backup goalie Alex Stalock didn’t extend the Wild’s shutout streak for long. The Bruins jumped to a 1-0 lead after just 5:23, on a goal by the reunited line of Danton Heinen, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Ryan Donato. Following a puck retrieval by Forsbacka Karlsson to the right of Stalock, defenseman Torey Krug fed partner John Moore at the right point, and Moore snapped a wrist shot that Heinen deflected from just below the right circle for his fifth goal of the season.
Brad Marchand scored his fourth goal in as many games at the 11:29 mark, giving the B’s a two-goal lead. Moore was involved again, feeding Patrice Bergeron at the point as Bergeron covered for Krug and whipped a wrist shot well wide of Stalock’s glove side. The puck caromed off the boards to Marchand, who put his 13th of the season through Stalock.
A Bergeron wrister led to the Bruins’ third goal of the period, a power-play marker with 45 seconds to go. Bergeron pulled the puck off the right half-wall and merely put it to the front of the net, where it hit Jake DeBrusk squarely in the spoked B on his jersey and fluttered past Stalock. Krug collected his second assist of the night on DeBrusk’s 14th goal of the season.
Rask only faced six shots in the first 20 minutes, but a couple were challenging, and his saves kept the Wild from cutting into what was a 2-0 deficit. With 5:49 to go, he gloved Eric Staal’s backhander after Staal got behind Kevan Miller and got to the right post to stop a net drive by Weymouth’s Charlie Coyle, who had moved through Moore and took the puck through the left circle.
Bergeron’s third point of the night was his 14th goal of the season — and like DeBrusk’s, it came during a power play, and not off an actual shot. Marchand curled into the left circle from near the point with good speed and gave up a shot to make a pass to Bergeron in the slot. It hit Bergeron’s skate and Stalock’s stick before settling in the back of the net at 6:24.