The Winnipeg Jets fell 4-1 to the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden Saturday afternoon in their first of back-to-to back matinee games this weekend. The Jets will look to rebound when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday in their first match of the season.
With the loss to Boston, Winnipeg drops to 19-20-5 on the year and once again find themselves with a below .500 record. The Bruins improve to 28-12-2 with the win and sit atop the Atlantic Division, four points up on Tampa Bay Lightning with an extra game played.
Ondrej Pavelec made saves in the loss, falling to 11-17-4 on the year. Pavelec is played in his first match since being benched in favour of backup, Al Montoya, the last three games. The 26-year-old Czech goaltender was pulled after he allowed three goals on six shots against the Minnesota Wild back on Dec. 27.
Bruins goalie, Tuukka Rask made 36 saves for the win and improves to 21-9-2 on the year.
The Jets opened the scoring midway through the period. Dustin Byfuglien beat Rask with a snap shot in the slot for his ninth of the season.
The Bruins tied things up 14:06 in to the period after a nice passing play that ended with Daniel Paille scoring his sixth of the year. Paille took a pass from defenceman, Torey Krug, who found him all alone at the side of the net for an easy on-timer goal to make it 1-1.
Krug made it 2-1 for the hometown team, beating Pavelec with a bullet from the point. Paille earned his second point of the game with an assist on the goal. Boston added a cushion to their lead after a Krug shot was tipped Carl Soderberg to make it 3-1.
Winnipeg had a number of quality chances in the second period including a flurry of shots in front of Rask to close out the period. The puck popped out to Michael Frolik and with the net wide open but the Jets forward was unable to convert.
The third period wouldn’t fare much better for the Winnipeg as they’d fall behind 4-1 thanks to a goal from Reilly Smith. Smith tapped in a Brad Marchand rebound to give Boston their fourth unanswered goal, putting an end to any late heroics from the Jets.
The game got off to a rough start with two fights in the opening three and half minutes. Jets tough guy Chris Thorburn took on Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, followed by James Wright and Bruins forward Mark Fraser. There was a total of 26 minutes of penalties called in the opening 20 minutes.
The Jets went 0-for-3 on the power play in the game but killed off the Bruins two chances with the man advantage.
Tobias Enstrom led all Jets with 24:02 of ice time.
Goals – 1. WPG Byfuglien (9) (Unassisted) 10:54 2. BOS Paille (6) (Krug, Campbell) 14:06
Penalities – BOS Chara (Roughing) :22, WPG Thorburn (Fighting) 3:16, BOS Chara (Fighting) 3:16, WPG Wright (Fighting) 3:18, BOS Fraser (Fighting) 3:18, WPG Trouba (Hooking) 3:31, BOS Paille (Interference) 5:51
Goals – 3. BOS Krug (9) (Paille) 3:08 4. BOS Soderberg (6) (Krug, McQuaid) 7:18
Penalties – BOS Hamilton (Slashing) 19:15
Goals – 5. Reilly (15) (Marchand, Bergeron) 9:59
Penalties – WPG Enstrom (Tripping) 5:07, BOS McQuaid (Fighting) 13:40, WPG Stuart (Fighting) 13:40