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Scheifele, Wheeler and Laine combine for seven points in win over Bruins

Trouba, Ehlers score in win that moves Jets to 41-25-4

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets faced a familiar situation on Thursday night.

Just as they were Tuesday night, they were tied after 40 minutes.

But unlike Tuesday's heartbreaking loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Jets found a way on Thursday night, picking up a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins.

"We're playing playoff hockey every game from now on," said Patrik Laine. "Obviously (we've) played a lot of playoff teams lately. They're always a challenge. (Boston has) been really hot so it was a good challenge this game."

Video: BOS@WPG: Wheeler cleans up in front for opening tally

Mark Scheifele scored his career-high 33rd goal of the season as part of a three-point night, while line mates Blake Wheeler and Laine each had two points of their own. Nikolaj Ehlers and Jacob Trouba also added singles in the victory that moved the Jets to 41-25-4.

Wheeler said after the pre-game skate this game would test the resolve of the Jets, but they passed that test - holding a one-goal lead for the final 2:56 of regulation time.

"We kept it exciting," Jets head coach Paul Maurice said with a grin.

"Our third was better than our second. I liked our first. We found a way."

This was the first time in the last four meetings that the Jets and Bruins didn't need overtime or a shootout to decide a winner.

Unlike the first match-up of the season back in late January, when the Bruins held the Jets to no goals and eight shots in the first period, Winnipeg got an ideal start on this night.

A key breakup of a 2-on-1 by Ben Chiarot led to Winnipeg's opening goal just 1:08 into the contest. Following Chiarot's sliding play to stop a pass from getting through, Scheifele took off the other way on a 3-on-2. His cross-ice pass to Laine was hammered off the cross bar, but Wheeler was right there to knock the rebound out of mid-air for his 20th of the season.

Video: BOS@WPG: Trouba crashes the net for go-ahead goal

Wheeler has now hit the 20-goal mark in six straight seasons. The season before the streak started, he had 19 in the shortened 2012-2013 campaign.

"I play with good players and I play a lot of minutes. I'm given a great opportunity and I just try to take advantage of it with the guys I'm lucky enough to play with," said Wheeler.

"It was good to get those two points."

The trio would connect again on the man advantage 10:16 later. Wheeler entered the zone and sent a pass cross-ice to Laine and instead of shooting, Laine found Scheifele with a back door pass for a 2-0 Jets lead.

Video: BOS@WPG: Scheifele buries Laine's dish for a PPG

Laine admitted there was some indecision on his part on the play.

"I thought I was going to shoot. I said to a couple of my teammates, if I don't know what I'm doing I don't think the goalie is going to know what I'm doing," Laine said, adding he's learning more about Wheeler and Scheifele every time he skates with them.

"I'm starting to learn where they want to go with the puck and where they want me to go. It's been a learning process and learning every game and practice. I'm getting more and more comfortable."

Boston got one back with 2:37 to go in the opening period when Charlie McAvoy took a pass from David Krejci high in the Jets zone. The Bruins defenceman used the space in front of him and sent a wrist shot off the left post and in, cutting the Jets lead to 2-1. 

Then right as the clock hit the halfway point of regulation time in the second period, Joakim Nordstrom whacked away at a loose puck near the Jets crease, sliding it past a sprawling Connor Hellebuyck to tie the game.

Video: BOS@WPG: Ehlers blasts home loose puck from the slot

After hitting a post early in the game, Trouba put the Jets ahead 7:38 into the third period. The Jets defenceman joined the rush with Scheifele and took a pass from the Jets centre in tight on Tukka Rask. Trouba was able to chip it through Rask's five-hole for his sixth of the season.

"I was just trying to wait someone out. Once (Zdeno) Chara came to me, I saw Trouby break through. Great drive to the net by him and it was a big goal for us," said Scheifele.

"Against a team that plays really hard in the third and is never out of it, we played solid. We were able to pot two in the third and that was huge."

Ehlers extended the Jets' lead to two when a loose puck off a heavy Winnipeg forecheck came out into the slot. Ehlers wasted no time and ripped it past the glove of Rask with 6:58 to go on the clock.

"We worked hard for a full 60 minutes and set ourselves up for a good third period. That's what helped us get the two points at the end," said Ehlers.

"We're getting close to the playoffs now and everybody wants to get into that playoff mentality. I think both teams did a lot tonight. I think we did some really good things out there to get the two points. That's what's important right now."

Charlie Coyle tipped a Chara point shot with less than three minutes left to pull Boston within one again, but the Jets held the fort and now have points in 12 of their last 15 home games (10-3-2).

The home stand comes to a close on Saturday night against the Calgary Flames.

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