The Boston Bruins have largely been successful on the merits of their third-period play. They're hoping the last game - where they fell apart in the final 20 minutes - was merely a hiccup.
The Winnipeg Jets, meanwhile, look to repair their league-worst penalty kill against one of the weakest power-play units.
The Jets, likely without their top point-scorer, will try to avenge last month's tough loss at Boston when they host the Bruins on Sunday.
Boston (8-2-2) enters the second stop of a season-long five-game road trip having gone 0-1-1 in its last two. The Bruins had won six of the previous seven contests while continuing to dominate in the third period, where they outscored opponents 10-4.
That wasn't the case in Friday's 4-2 loss at Buffalo, when they were outscored 3-0 and outshot 10-3 in the final period. It was the second time in 12 games they were outscored in the third, the first coming in an earlier loss to Buffalo.
Boston has outscored opponents 15-8 in the third period on the season but has been outscored 19-17 in the first and second.
"You like your team to be confident but you don't want them being overconfident," coach Claude Julien said. "We came out there in the third and forgot to do the work. ... We didn't deserve this game."
A positive for the Bruins was the continued strong play of rookie Dougie Hamilton, who tallied his first career goal in the first period and assisted on Rich Peverley's second-period score. Hamilton's five assists are tied for second on the team.
"I thought he played pretty good," Peverley said of Hamilton, who became the first 19-year-old Bruins defenseman to score a goal since Jonathan Girard did so on Nov. 13, 1999. "Getting that first goal maybe feels like a monkey on his back a little bit. Maybe that will just improve his confidence even more. He's making great plays already back there and he's just going to get better."
Boston's power play continues to drag, tallying only two goals on its last 24 advantages over seven games. The Bruins have five goals on 45 power-play opportunities this season (11.1 percent).
Conversely, the Jets (5-7-1) had struggled on the penalty kill, allowing 14 goals on 43 opponent power plays (67.4 percent penalty kill), though they killed off both of Boston's opportunities in the first meeting, a 2-1 shootout loss on Jan. 21.
Winnipeg's biggest loss Friday wasn't the 3-1 result to Pittsburgh - its third straight home defeat - but rather what happened to Tobias Enstrom. He left the game holding his right arm after being checked into the boards. Coach Claude Noel didn't specifically describe the injury but said it would be more serious than a day-to-day situation.
Enstrom is the team's leader in points with 11 assists and two goals.
His absence likely won't help a Jets offense that has dragged lately. Winnipeg has six goals on 114 shots (5.3 percent) while going 1-3-0 over the last four games.
Boston's Patrice Bergeron scored the deciding shootout goal in the previous meeting while goaltenders Ondrej Pavelec and Tuukka Rask each made 26 saves through overtime.
The Bruins scored two goals on 14 power-play opportunities while splitting the teams' four meetings last season.
|Back to top ↑|