Sunday, February 17, 2013

Game 13: Bruins Start Off Road Trip Right

The Boston Bruins continued their first extended road trip of the season on Sunday night with their game against the Winnipeg Jets.

This game marked the second time that these two teams got together this season. In the first meeting, the Bruins came out on top in a shootout to grab their second win of the season. This game was going to be just as difficult, giving the history of how the B's performed recently at the MTS Centre (home of the Jets).

Before the game, the team announced that Milan Lucic returned home to attend to a personal matter. The open spot in the lineup went to Jay Pandolfo, a long-time NHL veteran who recently signed with the B's. 

After a scoreless first period, the Bruins and Jets went back and forth in a very entertaining second period. Both teams recorded two goals, including a goal from Daniel Paille with less than two seconds remaining in the period to tie the game. Paille actually received some significant ice time since he was bumped up to the third line due to Lucic's absence.

Brad Marchand netted the game-winning, power play goal less than a minute into the final period. The Jets made things interesting when they slid the puck under Tuukka Rask, but it was just after time had expired. He held his line long enough to seal the 3-2 win for the Bruins. Rask finished the game with 22 saves. 

What stood out in this game was the lack of production from the Bruins at the face-off dot. David Krejci was the only player who finished above 70% from the dot. Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly, two solid players at the face-off dot, each finished with only seven face-off wins. As a result, the Jets controlled much of the puck possession. 

The Jets are a solid team with some great young players (Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler, Alex Burmistrov) and savvy veterans (Olli Jokinen, Mark Stuart, Andrew Ladd). However, the lack of experience in tight games proved costly for the Jets. As far as the B's are concerned, a win is a win.

The next game for the Bruins will be Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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