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Bruins Win Physical Game 2-1 Over Jets, Rask Makes 37 Saves



The Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets put on an old-time hockey show in Winnipeg and the Bruins came away with their second straight win in their first game back from the break, beating the Jets 2-1. Tuukka Rask made 37 saves, the Boston Bruins killed off all six Winnipeg Jets powerplays, scored two of their own and played their most physical game of the season. 

Jake DeBrusk scored the game-winner on the powerplay at 3:07 of the third period and Patrice Bergeron lit the lamp on the man advantage 19:07 into the first period tying the game at one after Jets winger Patrik Laine to give the Jets a 1-0 lead at 6:06 of the first period.

The Bruins finished the game 2-for-4 on the powerplay and the Jets were 0-for-6.

Rask, playing in his first game since suffering a concussion on January 14 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, was absolutely brilliant between the pipes. After allowing a juicy rebound on the Laine goal, Rask settled down and was crucial – especially during three 5-on-3’s for the Jets – in helping his team kill off those six Jets powerplays.

The Jets were laying the body early and often and the Bruins seemed to be caught off guard by a team that just around three weeks ago was not physical at all and out of sync defensively in a 5-4 Bruins win on January 9. David Pastrnak notched his fourth hat trick of the season and Jake DeBrusk had two goals in that game. On Friday night in Winnipeg Pastrnak had two assists and DeBrusk scored for a second straight game..

That physical play wore the Bruins down early and 6:06 into the opening frame, the Bruins allowed Laine to be left alone right in the slot and he buried home the rebound of a Nikolaj Ehlers shot for a 1-0 Jets lead and his 18th lamplighter of the season. Rask really had no chance on the Laine shot after saving the initial shot by Ehlers. 

Sensing his team needed a physical lift, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy absolutely lit up Jets star forward Mark Scheifele with a clean open-ice hit just inside the Bruins blue line. As is the case in the NHL these days though, even a clean thunderous hit has to be answered by a fight and Jets defenseman Neil Pionk went after McAvoy and the two combatants went to the sin-bin and then oddly their respective dressing rooms. Both McAvoy and Pionk got roughing penalties but Pionk got an extra one and that put the Bruins powerplay, 0-for-15 coming into this game, on the ice for the first time in the game.

The top powerplay and regulation trio for the Bruins didn’t look rusty at all as Bergeron finished off a tic-tac-toe with Marchand and Pastrnak at 19:07 and tied the game with his 22nd goal of the season. The Bruins and Jets headed to the first intermission tied at one with the Bruins coming back in shots, outshooting the Jets 15-12 after one.

The Jets came flying out of the gate again in the second period and just 30 seconds into the middle frame, Josh Morrisey broke in alone on Rask and Rask came out to break up the scoring bid with a poke-check. Then 2:11 into the period, Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk got called for hooking and that began a parade to the sin-bin for the Bruins in the second period as they would end up having to kill five Jets powerplays, including three 5-on-3 situations. 

Marchand and Ehlers dropped the gloves at 3:28 after Ehlers caught the Bruins winger with a clean open-ice hit. Marchand won the fight but as it got broken up he fell under one of the officials and came up shaking his hand. He would later leave the penalty box to get checked. Marchand got the extra roughing call. Then at 4:17, Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo got called for delay of game and the Bruins were once again killing a 5-on-3 for the Jets. Charlie Coyle went to the sin-bin for tripping at 7:07 and then Carlo got the instigator penalty after he fought Jets forward Gabriel Bourque following a questionable hit on Coyle at 10:10. 

The Bruins got their second powerplay of the game at 15:36 as Jets defenseman Lucas Sbisa answered a clean open-ice hit by Karson Kuhlman on Mathieu Perreault that forced Perreault to leave the game. Sbisa handled Kuhlman in the ensuing fight but got the instigator. The Bruins failed to convert on the man advantage.

Krug would get nailed on a phantom holding call at the end of the second period and the Bruins started the third period shorthanded again. After the Bruins killed off the Krug penalty, they found themselves on the powerplay at 2:35 of the final frame. Refreshed from sitting in the sin-bin for the first two minutes of the period, Krug helped set up DeBrusk for the Bruins’ second powerplay goal of the game at 3:07. Pastrnak got his second helper of the game with the primary assist. 

That was DeBrusk’s 16th goal of the season and his second goal in as many games after he had the game-winner in a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in the Bruins’ final game before the break on January 21.

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