What a 20th birthday for Charlie McAvoy.
The Boston Bruins’ defenseman scored the game-winning shootout goal to secure a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night at TD Garden.
McAvoy was the fourth shooter for Boston, with David Pastrnak also cashing in on his chance with the second shot.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the first two periods, but Torey Krug’s wrist shot at 8:16 in the final frame put the Bruins on the board first. The Jets, however, answered just over a minute later on a Patrik Laine wrister.
Tuukka Rask made a season-high 37 saves in the win.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 18-10-5, while the Jets fell to 20-10-6.
Here’s how it all went down:
NEITHER SIDE GETS GOING IN THE FIRST
The two sides played to a scoreless draw in the first, with the Bruins outshooting the Jets 10-8. Boston had a few chances on the power play but couldn’t sneak anything past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck.
The two teams were equal in nearly every phase of the game, zone time included, which the Bruins controlled by just 10 more seconds than Winnipeg.
DEADLOCK CONTINUES THROUGH THE SECOND
The story did not differ much from the first period to the second, which largely can be attributed to the play of Rask in net.
On multiple occasions, the Bruins’ netminder not only turned away some threatening shots, but also displayed impressive last-ditch goaltending on rebounds and second chances. By the end of the frame, there had been 72 total shots between the two teams, with Winnipeg besting Boston in shots on net in the game, 21-18.
But what the game lacked in goals, it made up for in physicality. Both teams played physically along the boards, and few hits went by without the recipient of the most recent hit returning the favor moments later.
TEAMS TRADE CHANCES IN THE THIRD, FORCE OVERTIME
After Hellebucyk and Rask continued to stand on their heads to start the third, the Bruins finally broke through.
Krug received the puck at the point and wristed it right past Hellebucyk.
The excitement wouldn’t last long, however. Just over a minute later, Laine wristed a shot past the outstretched arms of Rask, who had gotten burned moments earlier and found himself leaving the net wide open for the 19-year-old.
Both teams had a few chances to cash in with a winner in the final minutes of the period, but neither could execute, forcing overtime.
WILD OVERTIME YIELDS NO GOALS
After both teams earned at least a point, there were a handful of chances for each side in the three-on-three setting to get the final point up for grabs. But between solid two-way play and stout goalies in net, however, neither team could find the winner.
BRUINS CLAIM SHOOTOUT
The shootout did not get off to a great start for Boston, with Rask conceding a goal on the first shot from Bryan Little. Following misses from Brad Marchand and Laine, Pastrnak equalized for the Bruins.
After neither of the third skaters could cash in, nor Winnipeg’s fourth shooter in Nikolaj Ehlers, McAvoy finished the deal for the Bruins.
The Bruins will take on the Detroit Red Wings in a Saturday matinee. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images.