Saturday, November 26, 2011
Bruins Spot The Jets An Early 2-0 Lead But Eventually Rally For A 4-2 Win
After their 10-game winning streak was snapped yesterday afternoon against the Detroit Red Wings, it was predictable that the Boston Bruins would suffer a bit of an emotional letdown as the Winnipeg Jets made their first visit since the franchise moved from Atlanta.
It was a homecoming of sorts as former B's Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart returned to TD Garden after getting shipped out before last season's trade deadline. The Jets (9-10-4) scored two goals halfway through the first period for a 2-0 lead but the Bruins (14-7-1) woke up in time to notch a 4-2 win thanks to four unanswered goals.
Boston has now picked up points in 12 straight games, their longest streak since 2004.
Chris Kelly was the first star thanks to two goals and nearly the hat trick on an empty netter. Tim Thomas (11-4-0) shook off the rough start to record 40 saves.
Evander Kane (10th of the season) gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 9:31 by driving to the net and tucking a pretty backhander past Thomas. Dustin Byfuglien and Wheeler had the assists.
39 seconds later, Byfuglien (5th of the season) made it 2-0 with a seemingly harmless shot from the point. The problem for Thomas was that he was screened and probably never saw the puck until it was too late. Jim Slater (great name) and Jason Jaffrey had the assists.
At that point, Bruins head coach Claude Julien smartly took a timeout to settle his team down. They had completely sleepwalked through the first 10 minutes and paid dearly for it. Thankfully, the B's woke up after that.
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (32) is one of the worst starters in the NHL so it wasn't a shock that Boston eventually found some holes in his pads. Winnipeg actually outshot Boston 42-36 but after that early flurry, it felt like the Bruins had way more chances.
Zdeno Chara (4th of the season) cut it to 2-1 at 16:38 with a power-play goal from David Krejci and Dennis Seidenberg. In live action and when I saw the replay, I thought Milan Lucic tipped it but regardless, he got in Pavelec's way which was good enough. It was big for Boston to get a goal before the period ended so they didn't have to stare at a 2-0 deficit any longer.
The B's went ahead with a pair of goals in a great second period. Another special teams tally, this time shorthanded at 7:28 tied it up as Chris Kelly (8th of the season) was the beneficiary of some great individual work by Rich Peverley. Peverley worked around a Jets defenseman, went to the net and while his shot was saved, the rebound popped right out to Kelly. All he had to do was tap it in.
Kelly scored the game-winner at 16:26 thanks to a one-timer. Benoit Pouliot had the main assist, finding Kelly with a cross-ice feed that he slammed in. Peverley notched the second assist.
In the third, Thomas kept his team in the lead with a couple outstanding kick saves before Brad Marchand (8th of the season) ended it with an empty netter at 18:51.
Boston closes out November (crazy right?) on Wednesday with a game in Toronto. Then the Maple Leafs come to the Garden on Saturday night. In their two previous meetings so far this season, the Bruins are 2-0 and have outscored the Leafs 13-2. We can only hope they keep that insane pace up against Phil Kessel and Co.