– Bruins forward David Krejci
hadn’t scored a goal in his last nine games, so when he put the puck past Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec just 49 seconds into the third period, it was a big momentum swing.
The monkey was off Krejci’s back so to speak, and his goal tied the game at 2-2 to put the Bruins in a position to possibly win their first set of back-to-back games since doing so Jan. 12 and 14.
But the momentum didn’t last for long as Winnipeg forward Bryan Little scored a pair of goals later in the period to give the Jets a big 4-2 win over the Bruins in front of a boisterous crowd at the MTS Centre.
“We had a power play right after that and a couple of really good chances, but the puck didn’t go in,” Krejci said. “We have to make sure we bury those chances, especially when the game is 2-2. We didn’t do that, and a couple of bad mistakes – we have to do the little details right and we know that didn’t happen.”
Little’s first goal came 4:16 into the third period, and then he scored again less than two minutes later. Former Boston Bruin Blake Wheeler, who scored a goal in the second period, assisted on both of the goals.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask
, who made his first start in net since being pulled in the teams 6-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Feb. 8, stopped 21 of 25 shots.Tim Thomas
started the last four games for the Bruins while Rask fine-tuned his game.
“[I was] working on my balance and sharpness,” Rask said. “You always try to be sharp.
"But you don’t get that many shots and then when the opportunity comes, you see those shots and make those saves.
"Today, when I should’ve made those saves I wasn’t there,” he said.
The Boston Bruins (35-19-2) became known for their dominant third-period play early this season, as they outscored opponents by as much as 37 goals in the final frame.
Although the Bruins still sit atop the NHL with a plus 32-goal differential in the final stanza, the last two games haven’t been as favorable.
In Montreal on Wednesday, the Bruins surrendered two third period goals to the Canadiens and were forced to a shootout, where Tyler Seguin
helped his team steal the win.
But in Winnipeg against the Jets (28-26-6), the Black & Gold weren’t able to survive another two-goal period.
“It’s something that we were very proud of the way we usually came out for the third,” forward Patrice Bergeron
said. “Against Montreal we found a way and it still wasn’t good enough, and tonight same issue. Bottom line is we have to find a way and get back to our game.”--- Anthony Gulizia