February 17, 2012

Gameday Blog: Bruins vs. Jets

By Ty Anderson

SECOND INTERMISSION

SCORE
BOS - 1
WPG - 2

SHOTS
BOS - 21
WPG - 13

When Alexander Burmistrov scored two minutes into the second period, beating Tuukka Rask high glove-side to give the Jets a 1-0 lead, you could tell that the energy the Bruins built up through a strong first period was sucked right out of 'em. 

Striking with his 12th goal of the season, Burmistrov's snipe left the Bruins reeling until their goaltender redeemed himself with a splitting save on a two-on-one shot from Tim Stapleton.

Fortunately for Rask, who's often the victim of poor goal support, instant gratification came off the save, when Jordan Caron rifled home his third goal of the season, absolutely fooling Pavelec with a beautiful finish. 

But when the Bruins couldn't capitalize on an Evander Kane penalty, the momentum swung back in Winnipeg's favor, and former Bruin Blake Wheeler was there to make a tired Boston defense pay.

Beating Rask five-hole for his 40th pointof the season, tops among Jets skaters, the goal was enough to give the Jets a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes of play.

Want an anything but encouraging stat? Bruins captain Zdeno Chara -- who's been on the ice for both Jets goals tonight -- has a minus-8 rating in his last (almost) five games. Yikes.

FIRST INTERMISSION

SCORE
BOS - 0
WPG - 0

SHOTS
BOS - 13
WPG - 4

A tame first frame in Winnipeg draws to a close with both goaltenders pitching shutouts.

The Bruins had their opportunities early and often as the new-look lines based their scoring efforts around a strong net-front presence.

Josh Hennessy's first NHL shift in over two years came with an attacking zone face-off, and the 27-year-old finished the period with 2:45 of time-on-ice.

Boston's best chance came with a strong shift from Jordan Caron midway through the first period, where a dogged effort in front of the net nearly led to a Caron tally, but ultimately fell short when a fatigued Caron couldn't find the puck in front of Pavelec's wide open cage.

Meanwhile, the Jets' lone real chance of the period came in the early moments of the first when Jim Slater was denied by a challenging Rask, who stopped all four shots he faced in the period.

PREGAME NOTES

It's been over a month since Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask left the ice as a winner. A loser in four straight, the 24-year-old gets a crack at ending the skid tonight in Winnipeg with his first start in nine days. Chased in Buffalo back on Feb. 8 after allowing three goals on 10 shots, Rask skates onto the ice at the MTS Centre with five wins in seven career starts against the Jets, posting a .931 save-percentage against the club over that stretch. 

The Jets will counter with Ondrej Pavelec, who has started the club's previous three games against Boston this year. Pavelec has just one win in those three starts against Boston -- a superhuman 39-save effort back on Dec. 6 -- and has dropped his last two starts, allowing 10 goals in his last two starts. 

For Boston, a knee injury to Rich Peverley will put Massachusetts' own Josh Hennessy in an NHL line-up for the first time since Dec. 21, 2009, which was (ironically) against the Bruins. 

Meanwhile, the Jets will be without towering blue-liner Zach Bogosian, who will sit out tonight's contest with an upper-body injury. The 21-year-old Bogosian will be replaced by Randy Jones, who comes into play with one goal and a minus-1 rating in 23 games this year.