Preview: Jets at Bruins
The Boston Bruins snapped their third losing streak of at least three games since the start of December with a strong collective effort last time out and look to build on that when they host the surging Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. The Atlantic Division-leading Bruins were 4-5-6 in a 15-game span before getting goals from six players en route to a 6-2 victory at Nashville on Tuesday.
“It’s been a while since we’ve played as a team like that,” Boston center Patrice Bergeron told reporters after the win. “Assertive and on the puck for 60 minutes throughout the game without stopping. There’s going to be breakdowns. We’re playing some good teams. … But I thought the way we competed and the way we played, good things will happen every time we do that.” The Jets have won three straight while earning at least a point in four consecutive one-goal meetings (3-0-1) against the Bruins, and look to complete their four-game road trip without a regulation loss. Winnipeg opened the trip with a 3-2 overtime setback at Minnesota before edging Montreal by the same score and giving up a late goal in regulation Wednesday at Toronto only to grab two points in a 4-3 shootout triumph. Captain Blake Wheeler recorded the clinching shootout goal after posting an assist during regulation, and has three goals and five helpers over the last five games for the Jets.
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: NESN, TVA, TSN3
ABOUT THE BRUINS (25-8-11): Chris Wagner scored for the first time in 13 games while Danton Heinen ended a seven-game drought, Charlie Coyle’s was halted at five and David Krejci at four Tuesday. “Anytime you get balanced scoring, it just takes so much pressure off of the other guys,” coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters. “It turns a lot of those one-goal games into two- or three-goal wins if they can pitch in every night. That’s the goal.” Right wing David Pastrnak has scored in three straight games to push his league-best total to 32 and boasts 16 of his team-high 62 points during an 11-game streak.
ABOUT THE JETS (24-16-4): Center Mark Scheifele came up empty on an overtime breakaway Wednesday, but scored in regulation to tie fellow forward Kyle Connor for the team lead with 21 goals. Connor had an assist and boasts seven of his 42 points in the last five games - sitting behind only Scheifele (49) - while right wing Patrik Laine (40) converted in the shootout, but was left off the scoresheet for the third straight contest. Speedy Nikolaj Ehlers on Wednesday netted his 18th goal to push his total to six points in five games and fellow forward Mason Appleton added his first of the season - a short-handed tally.
1. The Bruins scored at least one power-play goal in the last 11 games (13-for-42) while the Jets are 16-of-23 on the penalty kill over the past eight contests.
2. Boston LW Brad Marchand is second on the team with 61 points and owns 15 of his 41 assists in his last 14 games.
3. Winnipeg backup G Laurent Brossoit (4-4-0, .889 save percentage) is likely to get the start after Connor Hellebuyck (20-12-4) made 25 saves Wednesday.
PREDICTION: Bruins 5, Jets 3