Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Greatest Night In Winnipeg Sports History: Jets Knock Off Bruins, 2-1, Snapping 15-Game Point Streak
By playing the second night of a back-to-back (after a late night flight to Winnipeg from Pittsburgh) and without Tyler Seguin (who was benched for missing a team breakfast), the Boston Bruins had every excuse to roll over to the Jets at MTS Centre tonight.
The B's (17-8-1) ultimately lost 2-1 to the Jets (12-11-4) but in defeat, they showed the balls of a champion (which they are, duh). After going 14-0-1 in their past 15 games, Boston tasted its first regulation loss since way back on Oct. 29 (in Montreal).
It took the game of Ondrej Pavelec's life (season-high 39 saves) to stave off Boston as they did everything but score the tying goal in the third period. The Bruins outshot the Jets 40-35 but it felt like even more than that, NESN keeps track of chances and there's no doubt Boston owned that category.
Tuukka Rask (33 saves; 4-4-1) was the toughluck loser as he was victimized by a shot he should have stopped and then a defensive lapse from his normally air-tight teammates.
Former Blackhawk and current Jets captain Andrew Ladd (9th of the season) beat Rask at 18:21 of the first period on a snipe that truthfully Rask could have stopped if he hugged the post better. Johnny Oduya and Pavelec assisted on that goal.
For the second night in a row, the fourth line for the Bruins came up with a vital goal. This time it was Shawn Thornton (2nd of the season) doing the honors as he tied it up at one, 3:16 into the third period. Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell assisted on a goal that I believe deflected off Thornton's hand.
Only 1:34 later, Bryan Little won a face-off then skated into the Boston zone unabated since Boston defenseman Joe Corvo got caught up ice. Little's goal (his 8th of the season) was unassisted and it turned out to be the game-winner.
The B's come home to face the surprise team of the Eastern Conference and probably the NHL in general, the Florida Panthers, on Thursday at TD Garden. The game should be a good early season litmus test to show if the Panthers are contenders or just Toronto South from the Southeast Division.
Seguin should be in the lineup assuming he doesn't skip out on Claude Julien's omelets on Thursday in Boston. Likewise, Tim Thomas most likely will get the start after getting a breather tonight.