Bruins surge to 4-1 win over powerless Jets
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Boston Bruins showed off their superior special teams in defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 Monday night, but their coach hopes they can make things a little easier on him in the future.
Boston successfully killed off five penalties before the second period was eight minutes old and rode the momentum throughout the rest of the game.
“Those penalties were deserved,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “We did a good job of killing them, and when we had the opportunity to get some scoring chances, I thought we were pretty good. Our back end wasn’t pretty as far as getting pucks out, but the battle factor was there.”
Julien was quick to praise his goaltender, Finnish veteran Tuukka Rask, who kicked out 34 of the Jets’ 35 shots. He was particularly happy with one bang-bang play late in the first period when Rask stopped forwards Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry in rapid succession on his doorstop to keep the score 1-1.
“That one (sequence) stands out for me,” Julien said. “That might have been the turning point. He gave us some life and some confidence, and then we really took off.”
The Bruins improved to 2-1-0, while the Jets slipped to 1-2-0.
Rask said he was in a good position to make saves all night long because he saw the puck well and his defensemen largely kept the front of the net clear of enemy snipers.
“It was tough to control (Perreault‘s) shot, but (Lowry) ended up hitting me with the rebound,” he said. “Sometimes you save them and sometimes you don‘t.”
Jets captain Blake Wheeler agreed that his team simply didn’t get the breaks when it really could have used them.
“It’s kind of the exact opposite of the last couple games -- not a whole lot of time in the (offensive) zone,” Wheeler said. “We didn’t get the bounce that we needed at the right time. We were in pretty (good) control of that game until they scored there at the end of the second period. It just felt like we spent a lot of time in the box in the third period and could just never really get into a rhythm to try to tie it up.”
What was that about bounces again?
Bruins right winger David Pastrnak, playing in his 100th career game, scored the goal that Wheeler lamented when he burst into the Jets’ zone down the left side but pulled up after defenseman Tyler Myers was preparing to angle him off into the corner. His centering pass deflected off the outstretched stick of Myers’ partner, Toby Enstrom, and past goalie Connor Hellebuyck.
“I tried to beat (Myers) wide, but he made a good gap, so I turned around,” Pastrnak said of the goal with one minute left in the second period that gave Boston a 2-1 lead. “I got a good bounce there.”
Jets coach Paul Maurice said his young squad, which featured four rookies Monday night, is still learning how to create offensive chances in a certain manner, but once it does, the results should be better down the road.
“We spent zone time against a pretty well-schooled defensive team, and we were able to generate that,” Maurice said. “There was some finish, some shot-blocking, some quickness just with the final release of the puck that didn’t go for us.”
It is always a good sign when a goaltender is the team’s leading point-getter in a victory. Rask had a pair of assists -- one on Pastrnak’s goal and a second on Zdeno Chara’s last-minute marker -- to become the first Bruins goalie to record two points during the regular season in franchise history. Rask also accomplished the feat in the playoffs a few years ago.
“That’s awesome, I‘m breaking records. Next game I’ll get three (points),” Rask said with a laugh.
The Jets got the start they wanted when center Alex Burmistrov spotted Wheeler stepping out of the penalty box and fired a pass from deep in his own end to send his captain in on a breakaway against Rask. A little razzle-dazzle later and it was 1-0 Jets at the 10-minute mark of the first period.
The Bruins didn’t waste any time responding, catching the Jets running around in their own zone after the ensuing faceoff, allowing center Dominic Moore to roof a wrist shot past Hellebuyck just 19 seconds later.
It looked as if Chara gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead early in the second period with a seeing-eye wrist shot after a Jets giveaway in their own zone, but Winnipeg challenged the play, and it was ruled offside.
Defenseman Brandon Carlo salted the game away with a rocket of a wrist shot past Hellebuyck with a little less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Chara got his first goal of the year when he scored into an empty net with 49 seconds left.
Hellebuyck finished with 21 saves.
NOTES: Boston is C Dominic Moore’s 10th NHL team, tying him with Lee Stempniak for the most teams of any current player. ... The Jets have gone back to the lineup that defeated the Carolina Hurricanes on opening night, reinserting RW Joel Armia and D Ben Chiarot, and sending RW Chris Thorburn and D Mark Stuart to the press box. ... Joining them from the Bruins are C Austin Czarni, C Patrice Bergeron and D Joe Morrow. ... The Jets are also without D Jacob Trouba, who continues to sit out after missing training camp and demanding a trade, and C Bryan Little, who is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury suffered on opening night. ... The Jets will induct Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson into their new Hall of Fame on Wednesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs are in town. ... Jets rookie sensation Patrik Laine’s family, including his parents, sister and girlfriend, were in the stands.