BOSTON - The lead bounced back and forth between the Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins all night on Thursday, but ultimately two Bruins goals 33 seconds apart in the third period left a sour taste in the Jets mouths to end the road trip.
The 5-4 loss was the only setback the Jets (24-17-4) suffered on the four-game trip, finishing with five of a possible eight points.
"We were about 10 minutes away from a great road trip. I feel like we kind of let one get away," said Andrew Copp.
"Overall it was a pretty good road trip. There are some things that we did well that we want to take moving forward. But there are some things we have to clean up if we want to be a contender."
Video: POSTGAME | Andrew Copp
Copp had one of the Jets goals on the night, his 100th career NHL point. The other goals came off the sticks of Kyle Connor, Neal Pionk, and Mark Scheifele.
The Jets had a 4-3 lead with 12:10 left in regulation before David Pastrnak completed his hat trick to tie it, setting the stage for Jake DeBrusk's second goal of the night 33 seconds later.
"Going into this game, if you said we'd put four up there, I would have taken that," said head coach Paul Maurice. "I don't think we had enough jump to skate the way we were going to need to skate to win that game. But it was still right there for sure."
Connor opened the scoring with a with a highlight reel move off a rush that began in the Winnipeg zone. Using Scheifele as a decoy on a two-on-one, Connor toe-dragged and deked around Torey Krug and flipped a backhand past Jaroslav Halak for his 22nd of the season.
But Boston (26-8-11) would even things up with 2:46 remaining in the opening period when Pastrnak capitalized on a centering pass from Joakim Nordstrom, beating Laurent Brossoit high on the stick side from the slot.
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
After a penalty kill to start the second period, the Jets cashed in on a power play of their own shortly after. Copp deflected a Josh Morrissey point shot to restore the one-goal lead.
Pastrnak again pulled the Bruins even as he hammered a one-timer off the cross bar and in just five seconds into Boston's second power play of the game. That gave him his second goal of the game and 34th goal of the season.
"He's a tremendous player. He showed that again tonight. He helped their team win tonight," said Brossoit, who finished with 31 saves on 36 shots.
"I felt pretty sharp. I was seeing the puck well and was moving well. They have a lot of firepower. It just wasn't enough."
Then with 1:11 to go in the middle frame, DeBrusk got in front of a Luca Sbisa shot at the Bruins blue line and took it the other way on a breakaway. His 12th of the season gave the Bruins their first lead of the game.
The Jets didn't go away though. An interference penalty with less than a minute left in the second afforded Pionk the opportunity to launch a one-timer from the point that beat Halak, tying the game at three with 7.5 seconds left in the second.
Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler
Winnipeg's power play finished two-for-two on the night and converted four times on 10 opportunities on the trip.
"When you're clicking, the plays you want are there and you're patient to allow them to open up," said Blake Wheeler. "When you're struggling a little bit, sometimes you squeeze it a little bit tighter and try to force plays that aren't there. We've done a good job being patient. It was great to see our other unit contribute. We've been soaking up a lot of minutes on the power play, so they got an opportunity and took advantage of it."
Winnipeg carried that momentum into the third and took the lead back, when Connor broke free of his check along the right side boards and made his way to the net. He sent a backhand pass across to Scheifele, who was able to bank a backhand off Halak and in, giving the Jets a 4-3 lead with 12:10 to go in regulation. Dmitry Kulikov, playing in his first game since late November, had an assist on the goal as well.
But the back and forth affair continued as Pastrnak tied the game with his third of the night, then came DeBrusk's eventual game winner off an offensive zone face-off.
"They run a lot of face-off plays. I don't think we got burned by the fancy ones," said Copp. "We just got burned by the simple ones."
Video: POSTGAME | Laurent Brossoit
Overall, the Jets are now 14-8-2 on the road and head back to Winnipeg for a three-game home stand which begins on Sunday against the Nashville Predators.
"We're peeling our way out of a little bit of a funk. But these next six games going into the break are going to be huge," said Copp. "We have Nashville, new coach, they're going to be ready to go. They're a great team.
"All these teams we're coming up against are really good teams."