The Boston Bruins have been consistently among the leaders in the Eastern Conference this year. What has kept the Bruins atop the leader boards is clear. They have played a strong defensive-mannered hockey and have used their layered lines to produce results. The Bruins were out in Manitoba trying to get a win at the MTS Center, a place that is regarded as a tough place to win at. The Bruins were trying to stop a two game losing streak. The Bruins needed to have their skill sets out and working in order to achieve victory.
Tuukka Rask was our starting goaltender and he was out to erase his previous game, the 4-2 loss to the Sabres out of his memories. Ondrej Pavelec was the Jet’s net minder and he wanted to stop the Jets own losing streak. Both goalies were consistent in the net tonight, but it wasn’t just goal tending that won it tonight. It was teamwork. The Bruins abbreviated lines showed the better team skills last night.
Winnipeg did not make it easy though. The first period was all about aggressive defensive stances in their own zones. It led to a scoreless first period. Alexander Burmistrov fired one through Rask in the first two minutes of the second period to give them the 1-0 lead. The Bruins, who have gotten rather used to playing in the trailing position didn’t break stride or have malfunctions in their zone though. Half way through the period Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara set themselves up well, and a missile by Chara got deflected in by Tyler Seguin, tying it up at one.
The last minute of the the second period and the first minute of the third period saw a lot of exciting hockey and three goals scored. Evander Kane, one of Winnipeg’s afterburners got set up by Nik Antropov and was able to push by Rask to give them a 2-1 lead with twenty seven seconds left in the period. The Bruins came roaring back though. A patented Johnny Rocket from Boychuk went in on Pavelec and a tip very similar to Seguin’s goal was put in Daniel Paille. Paille, who was bumped up to the third line grabbed his second goal of the season with one and a half seconds left to play.
The Bruins momentum continued through the intermission and into the third period. Brad Marchand, the Bruins’ leading scorer came flying out in one of the first shifts of the game and was lining himself up for what looked like a very easy shot on goal when he was blatantly tripped by Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey. The hockey gods however, do have a way of meeting out justice for the wronged though. The Bruins got on the power play nine seconds into the third, and Marchand was rewarded for his patience. A set up pass from Chris Bourque (who had his single best game in a Bruins uniform so far) to Bergeron found Marchand. The ‘little ball of hate’ had three Jets around him, but was still able to maneuver and get a sweet shot in past Pavelec.
That goal put the Bruins up 3-2. The Bruins maintained their presence in the defensive zone, and even a very last second drive by the Jets failed to get through. The Bruins are now 9-2-2, and once again atop the Northeast Division. (It just seemed morally wrong to see the Habs up there, it really did.) Tuukka Rask stopped twenty two of twenty four and brought his save percentage back up to a .919 , and his two goals helped balance out his goals against average at 2.06. Winnipeg fell to 5-8-1, and remains in the basement of the Southeast Division.