By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
10 days between games did the Boston Bruins well, but not well enough to power them ahead of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, as they fell by a 4-3 shootout final at TD Garden.
Not that the Bruins are panicking about such an effort falling short.
“I thought we had the better of the play when you look at the big picture,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, whose team outshot the Jets 39-to-27 in the 65-minute contest, said. “A lot of positives. We were physical, answered the bell when we needed to. I don’t think we had any passengers. Generated a lot of good looks.
“We just had some breakdowns. You have to be careful you don’t beat your self, and I think there was a little bit of that tonight.”
But the breakdowns largely came after an opening frame of runs for each team, as the Jets opened up the night with the game’s first three shots, but then surrendered 14 straight to the Bruins. That 14-shot barrage featured a one-timer from Patrice Bergeron good for Bergeron’s 15th goal of the season (and featuring Brad Marchand’s 35th assist of the year) to give Boston a 1-0 edge.
Winnipeg answered with five straight shots on Jaroslav Halak, though, including a power-play blast from Josh Morrissey just five seconds into Brandon Carlo’s cross checking penalty. But keeping up with the theme of the period, the Bruins rattled off the final six shots of the period, which included the game’s second goal, a rocket off the stick of David Pastrnak.
The goal was Pastrnak’s 28th of the year, putting him just seven tallies shy of matching his career-high of 35 set last season, and still with 32 games to go for the Black and Gold.
Looking to preserve their one-goal edge in the third period, it was a pair of breakdowns within 34 seconds that gave the Jets life, as Kyle Connor struck for his 20th and 21st goals of the season, quickly giving Winnipeg a 3-2 lead.
The Bruins would answer with another goal from Bergeron, sending this game to overtime and then a shootout, but it was Connor that again struck, while the Bruins went 0-for-3 on shootout looks from Jake DeBrusk, Pastrnak, and Marchand.
“Obviously, we needed a big save on one of those two and didn’t get it,” Cassidy said after the loss. “End up in overtime, and the shootouts, and those can go either way, and it went their way.”
The loss continued a recent string of bad luck for the 33-year-old Halak, who has just one win and an .866 save percentage in his last six appearances dating back to Dec. 27’s loss against the Devils, though he’s preferring not to focus on the negatives.
“I felt alright,” Halak said after the loss. “You don’t want to give up three goals, but it was one of those games, like I said. They’ve got some good offense, good players that can score. We’ve just got to look at the positives. I know we lost a point, but at least we get a point right now. Any point is good, and it’s a positive here because I thought we played pretty good tonight.”
The Bruins are back at it Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.