Recap: Bruins @ Jets 12.22.23

WINNIPEG -- Gabriel Vilardi scored for the fifth straight game and had an assist, helping the Winnipeg Jets defeat the Boston Bruins 5-1 at Canada Life Centre on Friday.

Vilardi has 12 points (six goals, six assists) during the streak.

“Gabe came in and has been absolutely on fire from on the first line,” Winnipeg forward Nino Niederreiter said of Vilardi, a forward who was acquired June 27 in the trade that sent forward Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings. “They have played 200-foot hockey, and I think the whole team is knowing that if they do it, the whole team is doing it too. … [Vilardi has] been fantastic for us.”

Niederreiter had two goals and an assist, and Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves for the Jets (20-9-3), who are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games. Mark Scheifele had two assists.

“Regardless of what other people think about us or [how they] measure us, we just measure ourselves against ourselves,” Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness said. “Our standards. This is how we want to play. This is the Winnipeg Jets hockey team. … We believe in ourselves, and that’s all that matters.”

BOS@WPG: Vilardi's slick shooting extends Jets' lead to 2-0

Brandon Carlo scored, and Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves for the Bruins (19-6-6), who have lost three in a row and five of seven (2-2-3).

“I thought [the Jets] were really good in all facets of their game,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “I thought the biggest thing is they won 1-on-1 battles. We weren’t good. They were really good.”

Josh Morrissey of the Jets had a goal overturned at 2:29 of the first period after video review determined he kicked the puck into the net, but he put Winnipeg ahead 1-0 at 19:52 with Swayman out of position after stopping Vilardi on a 2-on-1.

“[Morrissey is] dominant. Dominant,” Bowness said of the defenseman. “He can take over the game, both sides of the puck. He loves the challenges. He just loves to be challenged, and he rises to it. He wants to be out there. Like I've always said: He wants the ball. He wants to be out there in all those key situations. He wants to play against the best lines on the other team. He loves those challenges and, more often than not, he answers the bell."

BOS@WPG: Morrissey nets game's first goal late in the 1st

Vilardi made it 2-0 at 11:17 of the second period, taking Nikolaj Ehlers’ deflected pass and stuffing it under Swayman’s pad from the side of the net.

Winnipeg was awarded a penalty shot at 17:16 when Boston defenseman Parker Wotherspoon was penalized for covering the puck in the crease, but Swayman turned away Scheifele’s deke attempt.

Niederreiter’s power-play goal extended it to 3-0 at 17:41. He took a diagonal pass through the slot from Nate Schmidt and tucked the puck inside the right post.

“I think we came out wanting to win the game and go into the Christmas break with a good feeling,” Niederreiter said. “I think we left it all on the line. I think we gave ourselves the feeling that we can compete against anyone.”

BOS@WPG: Niederreiter flings in quick wrister for PPG

Adam Lowry pushed it to 4-0 at 1:25 of the third period after Mason Appleton collected his own rebound and fed Lowry at the top of the crease.

“[Winnipeg is] hard, taking away time and space,” Montgomery said. “They’re physical. Their puck support is excellent in all three zones and they just keep coming up with pucks. We had zero offensive zone time, they had tons of it.”

Carlo cut it to 4-1 at 14:22 when his shot from the right point deflected off Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon’s stick.

“We didn’t come to play tonight, and that’s on us,” Carlo said. "Obviously they did and it showed, especially in the first period and then throughout the game. We didn’t really get much momentum at any point. They played a really good game tonight, but luckily we have the opportunity to leave this in the rearview mirror and have an opportunity tomorrow (at the Minnesota Wild).”

BOS@WPG: Carlo puts the Bruins on the board in 3rd

Niederreiter made it 5-1 on the power play at 19:41, scoring his second of the game after Cole Perfetti found him alone in the slot.

“The type of team [the Bruins] have, the start they’re off to, what they’ve done not just in the last few years, but the type of team they have over there that’s been built in their DNA for a long time -- every time you play against them you know it’s going to be a tough battle,” Morrissey said. “We were ready to go right from the drop of the puck.

“Measuring-stick games in December I don’t really believe in, but I felt we knew and respected the type of opponent we had. We didn’t give them too much respect and came out and played on our toes and tried to play our game and play aggressive. It’s a huge win for us, but I guess I’m careful to try to compare [us] against a team in December, right?”

NOTES: Morrissey has five points (one goal, four assists) during a four-game point streak. … Scheifele has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past five games. … The Jets are 16-1-1 when leading after two periods this season.