WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets still haven’t won three straight games all season long. The Jets short two game win streak came to a screeching halt on Thursday with a 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins at MTS Centre.
“They turned it up to a level we weren’t able to get to in the second half of the game. That was the difference.” Blake Wheeler said.
Patrice Bergeron scored two goals in the victory. Brad Marchand had a three point night with a goal and two helpers. Loui Eriksson, David Pastrnak and Jimmy Hayes also scored for the Bruins. Brett Connolly had three assists.
Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers scored the Jets goals. Connor Hellebuyck started in goal for Winnipeg but was pulled after one period. He allowed three goals on 11 shots. Michael Hutchinson replaced Hellebuyck to start the second and stopped 25 of 27 shots.
The Jets badly out shot the Bruins in the early going leading 30-11 in shots midway through the second period. But the Jets went 17:27 without registering a shot with Bruins recording 18 consecutive shots to close out the second and open the third period.
“They got faster and we got slower.” Head Coach Paul Maurice said. “At the end of the day we couldn’t get to a puck, couldn’t come up with the puck and when we did we couldn’t move it quick enough.”
The Jets have allowed five or more goals in each of their last three home games and still haven’t won a game when they’re trailing after two periods, now 0-20-2 this season when down after the second period.
“I thought we did a lot of good things in the first and second period.” Jets defenceman Tyler Myers said. “We came out in the third and we looked tentative. Being down a goal we can’t play like that if we want to come back and they get the first one in the third and we’re caught chasing and it’s tough to come back like that.”
After getting hammered by the Los Angeles Kings 9-2 in their last game the Bruins came out firing. Marchand’s pass trickled down near the goal line and Bergeron was right there to whack in the loose puck. His 20th of the season was also assisted by Connolly to give the Bruins the early upper hand.
Less than two minutes later Wheeler found a wide open Little and he had the gaping cage for his team leading 17th goal of the season. Dustin Byfuglien also grabbed an assist and the game was tied.
It would remain a 1-1 deadlock until the late stages of the first when the game opened back. Eriksson beat Hellebuyck low glove side with Jimmy Hayes garnering the only assist.
But only a minute later Wheeler spotted Ehlers and he fired the shot past Rask. Little also had an assist on Ehlers’ 13th goal of the season and it was 2-2.
Then with just 1:15 remaining in the opening period Marchand raced in all alone. He lifted the backhand past Hellebuyck for the Bruins go ahead goal. It was his 26th goal of the season with Connolly and Zdeno Chara picking up the assists. There were three goals in the span of just 2:11.
Winnipeg outshot Boston 18-11 in the first frame and when they came out for the second period it was Hutchinson between the pipes as Hellebuyck took a seat on the end of the bench.
After a five goal first period the scoring cooled off in the second with a scoreless middle period. The shots were 14-12 for Boston.
Just 35 seconds into the final frame the Bruins padded their lead. On a 2-on-1 Hutchinson made the first stop but Pastrnak swatted in his own rebound for his sixth goal of the season.
Mid third and the Bruins tacked on another goal. Connolly was denied from in tight but Bergeron shovelled in the loose puck for his second goal of the game and 21st of the season. The Jets used a coaches challenge arguing their was goalie interference. But the call on the ice stood making it 5-2.
The Jets pulled their goalie with five minutes remaining but Hayes scored into the empty net to make it a four goal lead.
The game featured three fights including a rare tussle from Wheeler who squared off with Bergeron, his old Bruins teammate.
The Jets will practice in Winnipeg on Friday before heading out on a four game road trip starting Saturday in Edmonton.
WATCH: The Winnipeg Jets discuss a 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins