That's the number of consecutive penalties that the Boston Bruins have killed. That in and of itself is very impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that the B's are making it look pretty easy.
Thursday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was no exception. Even with backup goalie Chad Johnson between the pipes, the Bruins killed all four Blue Jackets power play opportunities, and sparked them to a 3-2 win to end their five-game homestand at 4-0-1.
The 26 straight kills are the most since the team killed 27 consecutive penalties last season. Either way, the Bruins still take great pride of using the penalty kill as one of their strengths.
"It's a huge asset of ours," said forward Brad Marchand, who had 2:24 of shorthanded time on ice Thursday night. "We've always been very proud to be on the PK and when something gets through, we have a great goalie back there to stop it. So it's just something we take a lot of pride in, and we want to keep building on that."
Additionally, the Bruins penalty kill has come through in clutch situations. During the third period of Saturday's 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the B's faced a key shorthanded situation against one of the league's top power play units within the last five minutes of regulation. However, they dug deep and allowed very little space in the entry zone and outmuscled the Leafs, who only had a couple of quality chances on that man advantage.
Thursday night, the Bruins had two shorthanded situations again in the third period. But timely saves from Johnson and good positioning from the shorthanded unit helped the B's kill off those two penalties to extend their streak to 26.
Not bad for a team that gave up four power play goals against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 26.
"We were really disappointed in that game against New Jersey and finding a way to bounce back and be real solid since then has been a goal of ours," said head coach Claude Julien, who's team has not allowed a power play goal in eight straight games. "Every game is a new challenge and guys are looking forward to it and they want to prolong it as long as they can. So tonight, we needed our goaltender as well to make the big saves at the right time and keep that streak going; and we did."
“Sometimes you can be doing all the right things and you get tough bounces. And in a scenario we had against New Jersey - whether we deserved to have four goals scored on us or not - it happens,” Gregory Campbell said after Monday's win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Sometimes those things like that are a wake up call and it’s not that we’re doing anything differently, but we take a lot of pride in the penalty kill and it’s a big part of our game.”
The next challenge for the Boston Bruins? Extending their streak to 27...and beyond. They'll have a chance to do that quickly as they face the Senators (ranked 21st in the league on the power play with a 16.7 percent conversion rate) in the first meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals tonight in Ottawa.
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