BOSTON -- When a team is in the midst of a winning streak, a letdown is almost inevitable. But don't tell that to the Boston Bruins.
With a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday night at TD Garden, the Bruins extended their winning streak to nine games. As this streak continues, Bruins coach Claude Julien has stressed the importance of confidence and not complacency.
It was Boston's first win against the Wild in seven games at the Garden. Overall, the Bruins are 3-10-0 against the Wild.
After a scoreless first period, the Bruins gained a 1-0 lead at 3:52 of the second period when Iginla notched his 24th goal of the season. His shot deflected off the stick of Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin and the puck knuckled through the five-hole of Darcy Kuemper.
Boston added to its lead at 13:54 of the second, thanks to a heads-up play by Carl Soderberg. The Bruins' Chris Kelly nearly turned the puck over at the offensive blue line, but Soderberg gained control of the puck, skated hard around the Wild net and a made a cross-crease pass to Eriksson, who put home the backdoor goal for a 2-0 advantage. The tally was Eriksson's eighth of the season.
Minnesota then capitalized on a botched Bruins faceoff, and in transition the Wild's Ryan Suter fed a neutral-zone pass to Jason Pominville, who broke in on Rask. Pominville broke his stick on a slap shot, and with shrapnel exploding toward Rask, the puck went in to cut Minnesota's deficit at 18:34 of the second period.
Smith, who had gone a stretch of 15 games without a goal in regulation, finally notched his 19th of the season at 7:50 of the third period to give Boston a 3-1 advantage. The Bruins had control of the puck in the offensive zone when Kuemper made the initial save on Patrice Bergeron's shot, but Smith crashed the off post and pumped in the goal.
Iginla added his second goal, an empty-netter with 1:05 remaining in the third period, for a 4-1 final. It was his 25th goal of the season.
Save of the game: With the Bruins holding a 1-0 lead early in the second period, the Wild's Mikko Koivo had a point-blank opportunity at the top of the crease, but Rask snared the backhand attempt with a glove save to secure Boston's lead.
Milestone: Iginla played his 1,300th career game, becoming the fifth active player to reach the milestone, joining Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, Ray Whitney and Shane Doan. Iginla is the 55th player all time to reach 1,300 games. The future Hall of Famer has 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points while playing all 68 games for the Bruins this season.
Up next: It's a quick turnaround for the Bruins as they travel to New Jersey to face the Devils on Tuesday night at Prudential Center. The Bruins have 14 games remaining in the regular season, with only four at TD Garden.