With the win over the Boston Bruins, the Winnipeg Jets move back into top spot in the Southeast Division, as the Carolina Hurricanes lost a home game to the division-rival Florida Panthers. The Jets have now won three straight at home and four of the last five at the MTS Centre.
After a scoreless first period, Brad Marchand scored his first goal in eight games eight seconds into the second. Marchand jumped on a Zach Bogosian pass that came off the back boards, then off the side of the net. The rest of the period was a frustrating one for the Jets as they fought to get through the neutral zone and into the Bruins end.
Midway through the third, the Jets tied the game on a power play goal from Blake Wheeler. Wheeler deflected a Bogosian shot past Tuukka Rask for his 13th of the year. The winning goal came 57 seconds later - Evander Kane with his 12th - after Rask had trouble controlling a Grant Clitsome shot. Wheeler's second of the game into an empty net with seven seconds left ended the scoring.
Ondrej Pavelec was again brilliant in goal and is now 5-1-1 in his last seven starts. His best save came in the third with the Bruins on a power play and leading 1-0. Zdeno Chara jumped in from the line only to be robbed by the right pad of Pavelec.
Some numbers from the game: It was the first time this season the Jets won when trailing going into the third, and only the second time the Bruins have lost in regulation when leading after two. The power play goal the Jets scored was only the second goal the Bruins penalty killing unit has given up on the road this season. For Wheeler it was his fourth two-goal game and ninth multiple-point game of the season. He has now scored six goals in the past five games and seven goals in the past seven games. An assist by Andrew Ladd on the empty net goal gives him 13 points in the last 11 games, and extends his point streak to five (1-5-6). He has also picked up points in eight of his last nine games. An assist by Dustin Byfuglien on the power play goal gives him seven assists in five games.
The Jets penalty kill went 4-4; the power play 1-2. You win the special teams game and your chances of winning the hockey game are very good.
The Bruins are a patient team and that is the way the first period was played. “It was a chess match,” stated head coach Claude Noel post game. “Both coaches played the match game. The second didn't start the way we wanted to and with that came the negative emotions and we created our own problems. In the third we got back on track and got our focus back on the task. We got a break on the power play goal, gave the fans something to cheer about. The fans were great. The win says a lot about our team. They are not an easy team to beat. They force you to keep your head level and we didn't do that in the second.”
On Pavelec, Noel said, “He's really been good. He's given us a chance to win, making saves when he has to. He's really maturing as a goalie, as is our entire group. You are only as good as your group.”
Alexander Burmistrov was back in the lineup after sitting the past four games. He played 10:32, of which 1:56 came on the penalty kill. He did not register a shot on goal in the game and had four hits. Patrice Cormier, Paul Postma and Arturs Kulda were the healthy scratches.
A bit of a quirk in the schedule has the Jets home to Washington Thursday (TSN Jets, TSN 1290) and Friday (TSN 1290).