The Winnipeg Jets visited the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins for the first time this season, pitting their recent success against the Bruins high-powered team.
The Jets led by two goals in the first period, but the Bruins proved their resolve by slowing chipping away at the lead to achieve the 4-2 win. Tim Thomas made an all-star performance, turning aside 40 shots for the win, while Ondrej Pavelec did his part for the Jets stopping 32 shots.
The Bruins started the game by showing why they have won 10 of their last 11 games. The puck spent the majority of the time in the Jets zone, as Boston had Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec under siege for the first few minutes.
A penalty at 4:26 in the first frame to the Boston Bruins for too many men on the ice seemed to begin to turn the momentum in the Jets favour. The red-hot Winnipeg powerplay went to work in the Boston zone. The Jets managed two shots and some quality puck control, but Tim Thomas kept the Jets off the board.
Nearly halfway through the opening period, Dustin Byfuglien grabbed the puck and skated in on a 2-on-1 along with forward Evander Kane. Byfuglien fed the puck to Kane who made a quick move on Tim Thomas and slid the puck into the net at 9:31 into the first, good for his tenth goal of the season.
39 seconds later, Dustin Byfuglien found the puck on his stick again, unloading his 104 mph slap shot. The puck fired past Tim Thomas to give the Jets a quick 2-0 lead 10:10 into the game.
The two quick goals in the first period weren’t enough to quell the Bruin onslaught, as they continued to pressure the Jets defence. With four minutes remaining in the period, Dustin Byfuglien was penalized for interference, sending the Bruins to their first man-advantage.
38 seconds into the penalty, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara wound up from the right point. Chara fired the puck on net, Pavelec caught a piece of the shot with his arm, but the puck deflected into the back of the net to get Boston on the board.
At 18:23 Zach Bogosian was also penalized for interference, giving the potent Boston offence another man-advantage late in the opening frame. One minute into the penalty, Bryan Little chipped the puck past Bruins defenceman Joe Corvo; on the ensuing rush Corvo was whistled for holding, ending the Bruins man-advantage.
5:52 into the second period the Jets were handed a powerplay, however it wasn’t the advantage that the Jets were hoping for. Former Atlanta Thrasher Rich Peverley poked the puck past the Jets defenceman at the blueline at drove towards Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec made the initial stop, but the puck lay in the crease with the goaltender on the ice. Chris Kelly finished the play for the Bruins, notching the game 2-2.
With 3:34 remaining in the second period, Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot sent the puck across the width of the ice to a waiting Chris Kelly. Kelly wound up and slapped the one-timer past the sliding Ondrej Pavelec for his second of the night and the Bruins’ first lead of the game.
The Bruins started the third period on an extended man-advantage with Eric Fehr sitting in the box. Ondrej Pavelec proved to be the best penalty killer, turning aside all shots he faced.
During the final period, the Bruins jammed up the middle of the ice, restricting puck movement through the neutral zone. The Jets tried desperately through the third period to chip away at the Bruins defence.
With 1:09 remaining in the game Brad Marchand sealed the victory for the Boston Bruins, stealing the puck in the Bruins zone and firing the puck into the empty Jets net. Even with a final flurry of shots, the Winnipeg Jets couldn’t crack the Boston defence dropping a 4-2 final decision.