Final: Boston 4, Winnipeg 2
Recap: Winnipeg jumped ahead 2-0 midway through the first period, as Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien tallied 39 seconds apart. Boston responded with a power-play goal with under four minutes remaining in the frame, as a bomb by Zdeno Chara beat Ondrej Pavelec to make it 2-1.
In the second, Chris Kelly buried a pair of goals to push Boston ahead 3-2 heading into the final frame. Tim Thomas stopped all 16 shots he faced in the third and Brad Marchand added an empty netter to seal the deal on a 4-2 victory.
Records: Boston 14-7-1, 29 points; Winnipeg 9-10-4, 22 points
Key Play of the Game: Chris Kelly’s alertness and strong effort led to the tying tally with 7:28 gone in the period. With Boston on the PK, Rich Peverley got in alone on Pavelec and pushed the puck towards the Jets’ netminder. The puck remained in the crease, Kelly rushed in and pounced and buried it into the back of the net.
Connolly’s Commendations: Hard to not make this blog a full-fledged tribute to Kelly. The Bruins center came up big again tonight with a shorthanded strike and the game-winning goal. Kelly is now second on the team with nine tallies behind Tyler Seguin’s 12.
Tim Thomas rebounded quite nicely after allowing to early strikes and came up with a number of big-time stops throughout the night. Perhaps the most clutch was with just under three minutes to go. Seguin caught iron down one end, then Thomas was forced to make a spectacular stop on Evander Kane to keep the B’s on top.
Connolly’s Critiques: David Krejci picked up a helper on Chara’s power-play goal, but it was another ho-hum night for the Czech pivot.
It might not look like a bad night in the box score, but Dennis Seidenberg was a bit shaky in this one. The German d-man nearly gave away a goal when he tried sending the puck up the middle of his own zone, and also came close to beating Tim Thomas when he backhanded the puck off the side of his own net.
Notes: Rich Peverley’s assist on Kelly’s goal was the 100th of his NHL career. Boston has now earned 23 out of a possible 24 points in the last 12 games.
Final Thoughts: Things looked pretty bleak midway through the opening frame, as Boston was hemmed in their own zone by Winnipeg’s aggressive forecheck, but things turned around dramatically in the second. The Bruins could’ve easily had another letdown of a performance, but they bounced back after their first setback in nearly a month and returned to their winning ways.
Next: The Bruins won’t be at it again until Wednesday night when they visit Toronto to take on the Leafs.