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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Bruins Do Just Enough To Come Away With A 3-2 Victory In Winnipeg

It wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination or even pretty really but what do you expect when you play such a nondescript and boring bunch like the Jets? The Bruins (9-2-2) won 3-2 tonight at Winnipeg's (5-8-1) MTS Centre. After opening their five-game road trip with a weird 4-2 loss to the Sabres on Friday, this was a nice way to respond against a bad team.

Boston rallied twice as Winnipeg jumped out to a 1-0 lead and 2-1 advantage before Brad Marchand scored the game-winner on a Bruins power play. Yes, a power play. Tuukka Rask (7-1-2; 22 saves) outdueled the immortal Ondrej Pavelec (23 saves) and received a fine stroke of luck when Winnipeg's chance in the dying seconds of the game literally rolled across the goal line but not in. Whew.

The Jets scored both goals on sloppy work by the Bruins defense-something that is sadly becoming a pattern in the last few weeks. Alex Burmistrov was positioned right by Rask to put a rebound in at 1:43 of the second period for a 1-0 Winnipeg lead. Tyler Seguin (remember him?) tied it at 10:57 after tipping Zdeno Chara's shot from the point for his third goal of the season. Patrice Bergeron had the second assist but Seguin deserves credit for battling all game and going into the corners (for once) to dig out loose pucks. Finally, he seemed engaged and it might have been his best game of the season.

The last 27 seconds of the second period was bananas as the kids like to say since Evander Kane scored on another rebound by Rask-this time Nathan Horton got caught napping in coverage-at 19:37. It looked like the B's would head into the dressing room with a 2-1 deficit but mighty Daniel Paille tied it with his second goal of the season, a fancy tip in of Johnny Boychuk's shot from the point. Chris Kelly had the other assist at 19:58 as Boston was completely revived.

Marchand earned a tripping call on Ron Hainsey nine seconds into the third period and it should have been a penalty shot as well. Thankfully, we don't have to bitch about or even remember that non-call since Marchand scored 27 seconds later from Bergeron and Chris Bourque. Marchand's backhander (his team-leading eighth goal of the season) gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead which was all they needed.

Up next, Boston visits Tampa Bay's (7-6-1, 2nd Southeast Division) on Thursday night (7:30 p.m., NESN) at Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Lightning are the highest scoring team in the NHL (3.9 goals per game) but they have been wildly inconsistent since their goaltending (Anders Lindback and Mathieu Garon) has been bipolar. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis are both tied for third in the NHL with 21 points. These teams would have met last Saturday but the blizzard forced the game to be moved to April 25 at TD Garden.

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