Fresh off an impressive opening night performance against the Rangers, the Bruins looked to keep momentum Monday, when they faced the Winnipeg Jets in their first matinee of the season. An early puck-drop would be a test for both teams, as players do their best to work through rust, regain stamina, and get back to gameplay form.
In his pregame presser, Coach Claude Julien spoke about the team’s approach: “We’ve got to build some consistency in our approach every game. I like the way we came out against New York, and some way we’ve got to recreate that again and have that same intensity and same focus as we did.” Its clear that a consistent, committed, full 60-minute effort is even more crucial in the lockout-induced shortened season.
The Jets got the game’s first goal when Chris Thorburn buried a rebound past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. A well-placed shot from the point by Paul Postma set up the goal; Jim Slater recorded the other assist. Shortly after, an unfortunate bounce produced a breakaway chance for Winnipeg’s Kyle Wellwood, but the speedy center was denied glove-side high by Rask.
The Bruins tied the score at one on a terrific play by young superstar Tyler Seguin. The third-year player broke up the exit pass, carried the puck through the offensive zone, and used incredible patience to pull Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec out of position; Brad Marchand crashed the net and received the perfect feed from Seguin for the tap-in goal.
The trio of Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton looked great in their first test against the Rangers. The strong play continued on Monday, when they continually put shots on Pavelec throughout the game.
The Bruins certainly got the better of the Jets in the second period, but timely saves, paired with multiple iron-ringers kept the score knotted at one.
Five minutes into the third period each team had clanked iron once more, a recurring theme throughout Monday’s matinee.
12:41 into the final frame the Bruins got a huge power-play chance when Evander Kane was whistled for goaltender interference. Just seconds into the man-advantage Rich Peverley ripped one off the post, continuing the iron theme of the day. The Bruins were getting chances all game, but could only confirm that hockey is indeed a “game of inches.”
After a scoreless OT the game was settled by a shootout. Seguin and Patrice Bergeron both scored for the Bruins on nifty moves to seal the victory. If it wasn’t for five hit posts this game would have been much more lopsided, but all in all, another impressive effort by the Bruins.
Next up is a rematch against the Rangers in New York on Wednesday night.
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