BOSTON — The Winnipeg Jets left the Bruins in the dust Thursday night, scoring six goals over the final 35 minutes en route to a 6-2 beatdown at TD Garden.
The victory was a long time coming for Winnipeg. After all, the Jets’ last win in Boston came … well, before they were even the Jets.
Entering Thursday’s regular-season opener, Winnipeg hadn’t beaten the Bruins on the road since March 31, 2007 — a time when the Jets still were known as the Atlanta Thrashers and the Garden hadn’t yet dropped the “Banknorth” from its name.
Marco Strum and Petr Kalus provided the scoring for Boston in that game — a 3-2 Bruins loss — and the immortal Joey McDonald stopped 37 of 40 Thrashers shots.
The game also included assists from Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara — the only remaining members of that 2006-07 squad — and a couple of entertaining fights.
“That’s a while (ago),” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. “I was just going to say the Jets didn’t play more than three years ago, so we’re going back a while. Thankfully, we’re not responsible for the earlier (losses), I guess.”
Let’s dive into a few quick-hitters from Thursday night’s action:
— Liam “The Fist-Bump Kid” Fitzgerald was back in the building. If you don’t know Liam’s story, educate yourself.
— The line of Matt Beleskey, David Krejci and David Pastrnak produced both Bruins goals in the loss. Krejci opened the scoring early in the first, and Pastrnak followed with a top-shelf snipe two frames later.
Pastrnak’s tally prompted NESN commentator Jack Edwards to refer to him as “a lightning man.”
“You know, I was trying to get the puck to the net,” the 19-year-old winger said. “I had an opportunity to shoot, so I decided to shoot, and it got in.”
Pastrnak was not credited with an assist on Krejci’s goal but probably should have been, as his work on the forecheck helped direct the puck toward his linemate’s stick.
— Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask finished with 25 saves and allowed five goals, but his defense provided him little assistance.
“Today, obviously we created a lot of chances, but then also gave up some chances and rushes,” Rask said. “First game of the year, things might happen. But obviously going forward, it cannot become a habit if we want to win games.”
Rask allowed five or more goals in just three of his 70 appearances last season.
— Rask’s backup, Jonas Gustavsson, didn’t see the ice Thursday, but he did unveil a new uniform number: 50. He wore No. 89 throughout the preseason.
— With so much new blood in the Bruins’ dressing room this year, the team put together a little rundown of each new guy’s nickname(s). Our favorite? “Broadway” Jimmy Hayes.
— Next up for the Bruins is a home date with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. With this year’s Winter Classic being played at Gillette Stadium, this weekend’s B’s-Habs matchup will be the only one held at TD Garden this season.
The Bruins also announced during Thursday’s game that they will unveil their Winter Classic uniforms Oct. 24.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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