Final: Winnipeg 2, Boston 1
Recap: The B’s and Jets were scoreless until the 18:21 mark when Andrew Ladd’s ninth of the season gave the home team a 1-0 lead. Boston peppered Ondrej Pavelec with 17 shots in the middle frame to no avail, but finally got on the board in the third.
Dan Paille flung the puck toward the crease and his shot/pass deflected off Shawn Thornton and into the bakc of the net to make it 1-1. The two teams remained even for only 94 seconds. During 4-on-4 play, Bryan Little broke in alone and beat Tuukka Rask to put the Jets back in the lead with 15:10 left in regulation. That was all Winnipeg needed.
Records: Winnipeg 12-11-4, 28 points; Boston 17-8-1, 35 points
Key Play of the Game: Winnipeg’s second goal was full plagued by errors. Little won a faceoff and took the puck himself up the ice. Joe Corvo should’ve stuck with him but seemed to slow down at the blueline before realizing the Jets’ forward had too much time and space to operate. And, to cap it off, the tally was undoubtedly weak, as Little’s shots squeaked right through Rask’s wickets.
Connolly’s Commendations: After a disappointing first period highlighted by a rough frame at the dot for David Krejci, the first line did a great job of creating chances for the B’s. Alongside winger Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, the three combined for an impressive total of 12 shots. Horton had two golden opportunities to tie the game late but was simply robbed by Pavelec.
Gutsy effort by Johnny Boychuk in this one. The B’s rearguard was plus-1, led the B’s with three blocked shots and shook off what was likely a leg injury and still contributed with some key defensive stops in the final frame.
Connolly’s Critiques: Hate to pile on a guy who only allowed two goals, but each puck that got by Rask certainly wasn’t of the he-never-had-a-chance variety.
Joe Corvo had himself a frustrating night at the office. The veteran defenseman was on the ice for both of Winnipeg’s strikes and looked like he botched containing Little on what proved to be the game-winner.
Notes: Second-year pro Tyler Seguin was made a healthy scratch after missing a team breakfast and meeting. Jordan Caron took his spot in the lineup. Both Thornton and Paille have points in each of the last two game.
Final Thoughts: And so one of the most magnificent point streak in recent NHL history has come to a close. The Bruins failed to gain at least a point in a game for the first time in nearly six weeks, suffering their first regulation loss since Oct. 29. It was a tough game against a strong home team and with Boston playing in the second half of a back-to-back. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Next: The Bruins will welcome the Southeast Division-leading Panthers to TD Garden on Thursday night.