Bruins hang with Jets; lose in shootout
The Bruins surely looked like a team who benefited from 10 days between hockey games. Coming out of the gate with high energy, the Bruins outshot the Jets 20-8 in the first period. Behind goals from Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, they also took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
But 34 seconds of Kyle Connor in the third period hindered the Bruins who eventually lost in the shootout.
It wasn’t quite the 60-minute effort he was looking for, but against one of the league’s top three teams, head coach Bruce Cassidy knows that an effort like that on a nightly basis will do just fine.
“I thought it was very good, for most of the night. I thought we had the better of the play when you look at the big picture, that part of it. 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,” said Cassidy.
“We just had some breakdowns. You have to be careful you don’t beat yourself, and I think there was a little bit of that tonight. No disrespect to Winnipeg. They’re one of the best teams in the National Hockey League, but I think some of it was self-inflicted, and the good teams don’t do that.”
After the breakdowns Cassidy mentioned erased a 2-1 Bruins lead, and then gave the Jets a 3-2 lead with two goals from Connor, the Bruins punched back as they did all night long. Bergeron’s second of the night at 11:39 of the third pushed the game to overtime, giving the Bruins a hard-earned point.
“I thought we had a really good game for first game back. Just unfortunate the way it kind of played out in the third,” said Brad Marchand who assisted on all three Bruins goals. “We have to do a lot better closing out games but we got points. We got to continue to build and get ready for the next one.”
Speaking of punches, there were plenty of those from Trent Frederic who made his NHL debut Tuesday night. Knowing how to make a good first impression with Bruins fans, Frederic dropped the gloves with Brandon Tanev. Using several heavy rights, Frederic eventually took Tanev down, pleasing the sold out TD Garden crowd.
Those in attendance that appreciated the fight were Frederic’s parents who were seen on NESN camera’s high-fiving each other.
Well, attempting to at least.
“Yeah, I was just riding the bike and Travis just showed me. Yeah, that’s tough, we’ll have them work on that,” said Frederic.
Outside of the fight, Frederic looked good in his debut. He did not factor in the scoring at all, but it was the little things that impressed Cassidy.
“I thought he played very well. He’s as advertised, played between the dots, strong on pucks, played behind their d, made a few plays,” said Cassidy. “If he had a chance to shoot it he did, great scrap, good for him. We need some of that.”
With Tuukka Rask still on IR with a concussion, Jaroslav Halak got the nod between the pipes. In what has been a stretch of inconsistency for Halak, he didn’t do much Tuesday to show things are turning around for the veteran.
Halak made 24 saves on 27 shots, and allowed the lone goal in the shootout. Since December 1, Halak is 5-6-1 with a .894 save percentage and a 3.00 goals-against average.
“I felt alright. You know, obviously, 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. You know, we’ve just got to look at the positives,” said Halak. “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.”
Overall it was an entertaining, physical game between two good hockey teams. Unfortunate that a game like that had to end in a shootout.
The Bruins return to action Thursday night when they host the Philadelphia Flyers