A valiant comeback from the Boston Bruins was all for naught Thursday night in Manitoba.
Trailing the Winnipeg Jets 2-0 in the first period at Bell MTS Place, the Bruins scored two unanswered goals by the midway point of the second to draw level. But at the 7:38 mark in the third period, Jacob Trouba gave the Jets the lead back, and they’d never relinquish it.
A dreadful defensive effort by the Bruins allowed Mark Scheifele to dance up the middle of the ice and into the attacking zone. He threw a puck toward the far post, which hit off Trouba’s skate and into Tuukka Rask. The B’s netminder stopped the puck but left a rebound, which Trouba quickly cleaned up to give Winnipeg the 3-2 lead.
The hosts would go on to win 4-3.
Trouba bumped Rask a little bit on the score, but the contact wasn’t hard enough for the Bruins to consider challenging for goaltender interference.
After the game, Rask explained what happened on the goal.
“Well you can probably tell better than I (can). I didn’t really see the replay,” Rask told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It was just on the ice, I got that first shot and then it was — he bumped into me and the puck was in the net. So I’m guessing it just hit his shin pads or something otherwise I think we would’ve challenged that. But it’s one of those, kind of a lucky bounce, nothing you can do about it.”
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Jets game:
— Joakim Nordstrom scored his sixth goal of the season in Thursday’s loss.
The Bruins forward hadn’t scored a goal since Dec. 17 (though he did miss significant time with an injury suffered in the Winter Classic), but during the second period he poked a puck past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck to even the game at a pair.
Nordstrom undeservedly has become a maligned figure. He is one of the Bruins’ top penalty killers and defensive forwards, and he’s earned the trust of Bruce Cassidy to the point where the head coach is comfortable plugging him into pretty much any forward role. While his offense has lacked lately, sure, he wasn’t brought to Boston to compete for the Art Ross Trophy.
Indeed, it would be a nice boost to the Bruins if Nordstrom scored more often, and the fact remains that he could be creating more offense altogether. Regardless, he absolutely pulls his own weight on the defensive end and as a penalty killer, and that’s what matters.
— The loss wrapped up what was a pretty bad road trip for the Bruins.
When they left Boston on Saturday night, fresh off a thrilling win over the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins were in the midst of a 19-game point streak. However, Boston lost all three games on the road, making the point streak now seem like a distant memory.
In those three losses, the B’s scored nine goals while conceding 15. They cashed in on just 11.1 percent of their power play opportunities, while killing 72.7 percent of their penalties.
The Bruins are dealing with quite a few injuries, so some of this can be excused. But they need to find ways to get results down the stretch, regardless of who’s on the ice.
— Charlie Coyle scored his first goal with the Bruins on Thursday.
Trailing 4-2 with just under three minutes to play in the third, Zdeno Chara ripped a shot from the point, which Coyle got a piece of and redirected home.
— Despite falling in their last three games, the Bruins have benefitted from the Toronto Maple Leafs not being too hot lately either. The Leafs have lost their last two games, which have allowed the B’s to maintain a four-point lead over them in the standings. However, the Leafs do have one game in hand.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images