Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins blank Colorado Avalanche, clinch playoff birth with 11th straight win


The Boston Bruins become the first team in the NHL to clinch a playoff spot with a 2-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night. In victory, the Bruins extended their winning to a league-best 11 games. They now have 101 total points on the season. Their divisional and conference leads grew as well with the win.

Chad Johnson made 31 saves in shutting out the offensive-minded Avalanche. Johnson became the first goalie to blank them this season. Tuukka Rask‘s backup is now 16-3-1 on the year. The Bruins have allowed a measly 1.4 goals per game over the course of their winning streak.

Boston is now 10-0-3 in their last 13 road games.

Once again, the Bruins ability to jump out to an early lead played a role in this one. Patrice Bergeron tallied a first period goal and then Carl Soderberg doubled Boston’s lead in the second period. It was all the Bruins would need.

With a 2-0 lead, the black-and-gold locked things down on the defensive end and grinded out the final 20 minutes, including a five-minute stretch of 6-on-5 hockey to end the game. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov much earlier than normal and Boston surrendered nothing in the face of added pressure.

Dougie Hamilton assisted on both Boston goals. Zdeno Chara and Loui Eriksson also had assists.

Under Julien, the Bruins have now earned upwards of 100 points in four out of the eight seasons he’s been behind the bench. They are now tied for first place in the NHL with St. Louis, who also has 101 points.

The last time the Bruins found themselves amid an 11-game win streak was way back in 1971.

Boston will close out their current three-game road trip Saturday night in Phoenix. They’ll take a 16-4-4 record against the Western Conference into battle with the Coyotes.

 

 

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