Ex-Bruin Blake Wheeler put together a dominant performance against his old club with a goal and two assists and Winnipeg picks up two big points in its quest to claim one of the final playoff spots in the East.
The Bruins continue to struggle to consistently put together solid efforts for an entire game, and with a few guys missing from the lineup now with injuries they can’t get away with just showing up in spurts. They’ll get another chance to get things going in the right direction when they continue their six-game road trip with a stop in Minnesota on Sunday.
Third Period, 18:30, Jets 4-2: The Bruins pull Rask for the extra attacker, needing two goals in the final 90 seconds to pull even in this one.
Third Period, 15:18, Jets 4-2: The Bruins kill off that penalty as well, but now face quite an uphill battle as time in running short in this one.
Third Period, 13:18, Jets 4-2: That even-strength time didn’t last long as David Krejci now goes to the box for holding coming back to break up a 2-on-1 break.
Third Period, 12:33, Jets 4-2: The Bruins kill off that penalty and the sides are back at even strength.
Third Period, 10:33, Jets 4-2: Blake Wheeler decks Chris Kelly twice as the physical play continues, and Kelly gets the only penalty for charging. It will start as a 4-on-3 power play for Winnipeg.
Third Period, 9:38, Jets 4-2: Tempers flare between Hennessy and Stuart after Nik Antropov goes down hurt along the boards. Stuart popped Hennessy with a gloved shot and Hennessy responded by dropping his gloves, but nothing further develops and they each get two for roughing.
Third Period, 7:13, Jets 4-2: The Bruins try to answer, but Pavelec robs Bergeron with a glove save on a bid at the right post off a feed from Marchand.
Third Period, 6:20, Jets 4-2: The Bruins break down in their own zone again as Bryan little strikes once more to extend the lead to two goals for the first time in this one.
Wheeler gets another assist as he sends the puck across to Little in the right slot, where he roofs it over Rask.
Third Period, 4:16, Jets 3-2: The Jets strike right after a successful penalty kill once again, with Bryan Little putting Winnipeg back ahead.
Blake Wheeler had the initial shot from the high slot, and Little followed up with the second chance in front for the goal. Wheeler picks up his 100th career assist on the play.
Third Period, 3:43, 2-2: The Bruins looked a little better on that power play, but still come up empty again as the sides are back to even strength.
Third Period, 1:43, 2-2: The Bruins now get another power-play chance as Bryan Little is called for hooking.
Third Period, 0:49, 2-2: The Bruins strike quickly to pull even in the first minute of the period as David Krejci ends his drought.
Dustin Byfuglien broke his stick on a shot at the point, creating an odd-man break, which Krejci finished in front, roofing one over Pavelec to tie it.
Third Period, 0:00, Jets 2-1: The final frame is under way in Winnipeg, where the Bruins need a late rally to pull this one out.
Second Intermission Notes: The goals finally started to come in the second, but two of them came for Winning, which takes a 2-1 lead into the third.
The Bruins still hold a 21-13 edge in shots overall, but Winnipeg led 9-8 in the second and had the better of the play in general in that frame. Ten of Boston’s 21 shots are from defensemen, which indicates the Bruins are settling for perimeter shots too much and need to drive the net more.
The Bruins are once again losing the physical battle, being outhit 24-12 so far. Evander Kane leads the way with five hits, while Tanner Glass has four.
Jordan Caron got his first goal since Jan. 12, which is a good sign for a Bruins team that needs other players to step up offensively with Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley out. But Boston didn’t creae much else in the second. Both Winnipeg goals came with Boston’s top defensive pairing on the ice, as Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk are each minus-2.
End Second Period, Jets 2-1: The middle frame comes to a close with both teams getting late chances. Rask made the stop on Dustin Byfuglien after a Jordan Caron giveaway, but David Krejci was also denied at the other end.
Second Period, 18:22, Jets 2-1: The Bruins try to answer with a shot from the point with Lucic crashing the crease, but Pavelec holds on for the whistle as the Jets maintain their one-goal lead late in the second.
Second Period, 15:50, Jets 2-1: The Jets pull ahead again as former Bruin Blake Wheeler puts Winnipeg back up.
Dustin Byfuglien gained the line on the rush and dropped it for wheeler, who fired home the shot from between the circles.
Second Period, 15:20, 1-1: The Bruins can’t get anything going on that power play, struggling to even gain the zone as most of that two minutes was played in the Boston end and neutral zone.
Second Period, 13:20, 1-1: The first penalty of the game is finally called, and it’s the Bruins who will go on the power play as Evander Kane is called for elbowing Andrew Ference.
Second Period, 10:44, 1-1: The pace has picked up in the second period, with both teams creating scoring chances. Both teams with quality bids, but the Bruins have had the better quantity with an 18-8 edge in shots.
Second Period, 6:10, 1-1: The Bruins answer back as Jordan Caron ties it with a shot from the right circle.
That came after Rask made a huge save, sliding post to post to rob Tim Stapleton on a shot from the left wing trying to finish a 2 on 1. The Bruins countered quickly in transition, with Caron finishing the chance.
Second Period, 1:59, Jets 1-0: The Jets strike for the first goal as Alexander Burmistrov fires in a laser from the top of the right circle.
Burmistrov was working against Chara, and fired in the shot top shelf as Rask went down a bit early. Ex-Bruin Mark Stuart picks up the assist on the play.
Second Period, 0:00, 0-0: The middle frame is under way in Winnipeg, where it remains scoreless despite the Bruins getting the better of the play for most of the first.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins controlled play for most of taht period, but don’t have anything to show for it yet on the scoreboard.
The revamped lines have produced some chances, with Milan Lucic and Benoit Pouliot working well together with David Krejci, though it’s the one unchanged line that’s produced the most scoring bids with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin turning in a strong effort in the first.
Tuukka Rask hasn’t had a lot of work, but has made a few solid saves. Winnipeg has just four shots, with two coming from Dustin Byfuglien, who always is a thorn in the Bruins’ side when he faces Boston.
There were no penalties in the first, though Daniel Paille could have been called for goalie interference after a collision with Ondrej Pavelec. After all the goalie interference calls in Montreal, it’s just as well the refs let one slide.
End First Period, 0-0: The first frame comes to a close without any scoring despite a 13-4 edge in shots for the Bruins, who controlled play for most of the period.
First Period, 19:14, 0-0: The Bruins threaten again as Andrew Ference steps up to keep the puck in and Seguin sets up Marchand for a bid from the high slot.
First Period, 16:33, 0-0: The Bruins with a sloppy clearing pass that Johnny Oduya steals inside the blue line, only to be freight-trained by Daniel Paille a second later as Paille ends the threat with a big hit.
First Period, 14:31, 0-0: Milan Lucic with a nice rush down the right side, getting around Randy Jones and cutting to the front of the net for a bid, but Pavelec makes the stop.
First Period, 12:47, 0-0: Tyler Seguin skating with some energy in this one, hustling back on defense to help force an offsides. He looks determined to make up for the last visit to Winnipeg, when he was scratched after missing the team breakfast and meeting that morning.
First Period, 9:00, 0-0: The Bruins have had the better of the play early, with Brad Marchand getting a chance in front before Pavelec is able to tie up the puck. Boston has a 5-1 edge in shots.
First Period, 4:31, 0-0: The fourth line takes the ice, which means Josh Hennessy is out for his first shift as a Bruin. He’s the first Massachusetts native to play for the Bruins since Bobby Allen in 2007-08.
First Period, 1:06, 0-0: Tuukka Rask is tested early, but comes up with save on Bryan Little from the right slot off a feed from Blake Wheeler as the Jets threaten in transition.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: This one is under way in Winnipeg, where the Bruins will look to post back-to-back wins for the first time in over a month.
8 p.m.: The Bruins will open with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin up front, Dennis Seidenberg and Joe Corvo on defense and Tuukka Rask in goal.
The Jets counter with Tanner Glass, Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn up front, Ron Hainsey and Johnny Oduya on the blue line and Ondrej Pavelec in net.
7:55 p.m.: The Bruins have offically scratched Andrew Bodnarchuk, who is out along with Nathan Horton (concussion) and Rich Peverley (knee).
Zach Bogosian (upper body), Eric Fehr and Mark Flood are out for the Jets.
7:45 p.m.: With Rich Peverley out, Benoit Pouliot, fresh off his first goal in 16 games, will move up alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
Daniel Paille moves into Pouliot’s spot with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron, while Josh Hennessy will make his Bruins debut centering the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Only the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin remains unchanged.
7:30 p.m.: Tuukka Rask led the Bruins out for warm-ups in Winnipeg and will be in goal for this one as Claude Julien indicated after the morning skate.
Ondrej Pavelec will be in goal for the Jets.
7 p.m.: The Bruins continue their six-game road trip wit their final visit to Winnipeg this season, but they’ll do it without Rich Peverley.
Peverley suffered a third-degree MCL sprain in his right knee on a knee-on-knee hit by Hal Gill Wednesday in Montreal and will be out 4-6 weeks.
The Bruins went on to win that game 4-3 in a shootout, and will now try to post back-to-back wins for the first time in over a month. Their last two wins in succession came against these same two clubs in the reverse order, beating Winnipeg and Montreal in Boston on Jan. 10 and 12. The Jets may be the perfect opponent to get a victory against. They played last night in Minnesota and are 0-9-0 in the back end of game on consecutive nights this year.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins flirted with disaster in the opening game of their six-game road trip, squandering a two-goal lead in the third period in Montreal on Wednesday. But Boston pulled out a needed 4-3 win as Tyler Seguin scored the only goal in the shootout.
Seguin and the Bruins now return to Winnipeg, where the young star hit the low point of his breakthrough season. Seguin was scratched for Boston’s 2-1 loss in Winnipeg on Dec. 6 after missing the team breakfast and meeting that morning.
That was the Bruins’ only loss to the Jets this season, with Boston winning 4-2 on Nov. 26 and 5-3 on Jan. 10 in the two meetings at the Garden.
Even with the win in Montreal, the Bruins (35-18-2, 72 points) are just 7-7-1 in their last 15 games and need to string together some wins. Last year they put together a perfect 6-0-0 road trip at this point in the season, and they’d like to take a step toward another successful trip with a win over the Jets.
Winnipeg is coming off a 4-3 shootout win in Minnesota on Thursday, with Evander Kane scoring two goals in regulation and the deciding goal in the shootout. But the Jets (27-26-6, 60 points) are still just 4-4-0 in February and 10th in the East, four points out of the final playoff spot.
The puck drops at 8 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action.