ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and 47th of his career, and the short-handed Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 3-0 on Thursday night.
Joakim Nordstrom, David Pastrnak and Zach Senyshyn scored for Boston.
Halak, who has split time with Tuukka Rask in goal for Boston this season, was rarely challenged by a Minnesota team that was shut out for the 10th time this season and seventh on its home ice.
The Bruins rested several regulars, including Zdeno Chara, David Krecji, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy since they are locked into the second spot in the Atlantic Division behind Tampa Bay.
Alex Stalock stopped 32 shots for Minnesota, which has lost nine times in its past 13 games and was eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday. The Wild are 3-8-4 at home since the All-Star break and the 10 shutouts this season are tied for the second most in franchise history, and the most since 2002-03, the franchise’s third year in existence.
A game that didn’t mean anything for either team didn’t feature much action until Nordstrom broke the scoreless stretch midway through the second period.
Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk sent in a shot that went wide of the goal and bounced off the end boards where forward Noel Acciari astutely tipped the puck out to the front of the net. Nordstrom was wide open in front and sent a quick shot past Stalock for his seventh goal of the season.
Pastrnak and Senyshyn scored 36 seconds apart with less than three minutes remaining. It was Pastrnak’s team-leading and career-high 38th goal. Senyshyn, the 15th-overall pick in the 2015 draft by Boston, was making his NHL debut and capped the scoring with an empty-netter.
NOTES: Krecji had been the only Boston player to play in every game this season, and he had played in 125 straight games. Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters Thursday that Zach Parise won’t play in the final two games. Parise (illness) returned from missing four games with a lower-body injury to score two goals on Tuesday. Wild F Nico Sturm made his NHL debut after the college free agent had signed on Monday. Sturm had 14 goals and 31 assists during his recently finished junior season at Colgate. Bruins D Kevan Miller left the game in the second period after awkwardly sliding into the end boards but later returned. He was knocked off his skates by Minnesota F Jordan Greenway and hit the boards with his knees. He had to be helped off the ice with a trainer.
Bruins: Wrap up the regular season on Saturday at home against Tampa Bay.
Wild: Finish the season on Saturday at Dallas.
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