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game recap

Jets defeat Bruins, maintain lead in Central Division

Scheifele has goal, two assists to help keep Winnipeg one point ahead of Predators

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

Ehlers bags loose puck

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

Nikolaj Ehlers hammers a loose puck from the slot that beats Tuukka Rask, giving the Jets a 4-2 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:58 •

WINNIPEG -- Mark Scheifele had one goal and two assists to help the Winnipeg Jets hold on for a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins at Bell MTS Place on Thursday.

Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist, Patrik Laine had two assists, and Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves for the Jets (41-25-4), who remained in first place in the Central Division, one point ahead of the Nashville Predators. The Predators defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on Thursday. 

"It's a big win against a good team," Scheifele said. "Any time you get a win against a team like that you're going be happy. You can be happy with it tonight and then on comes Calgary on Saturday and then we got to get prepared for that one."


[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Jets highlights]


Charlie McAvoy, Joakim Nordstrom and Charlie Coyle scored for the Bruins (42-20-9), who have lost three straight in regulation for the first time since Dec. 1-6. Tuukka Rask made 20 saves for Boston, which remained four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division. 

"Poor starts, first and foremost," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. "We shot ourselves in the foot at the start of every game [in the losing streak], so tough to get back in this league. Tough to do that every night. And we've done it on the tail end of our [19-game] point streak."

Wheeler gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 1:08 of the first period after Laine's one-timer hit the crossbar and dropped into the crease where Wheeler was waiting. The goal was Wheeler's 20th, making it the sixth straight season he's scored at least 20 goals. 

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

"I play with good players and I play a lot of minutes," Wheeler said. "Obviously I've been given a great opportunity so I just try to take advantage of it with the guys that I'm playing with."

Laine provided the cross-ice pass to Scheifele on the power play to make it 2-0 at 11:24. Scheifele's 33rd goal is an NHL career high. He scored 32 in 2016-17. 

"I thought I was going to shoot," Laine said. "If I don't know what I'm doing, I don't think the goalie's going to know what I'm doing. I thought first I was going to shoot it, I was pretty close. But then I saw [Scheifele] back door so might as well pass it sometimes.

"I'm not just a shooter, I guess. I'm a pretty decent passer as well, like we saw in this game."

McAvoy pulled Boston within 2-1 with a quick wrist shot over Hellebuyck's blocker at 17:23. 

Video: BOS@WPG: McAvoy scores off the post and in

Nordstrom tied it 2-2 at 10:00 of the second period, pushing the puck underneath the outstretched left pad of Hellebuyck. 

"We have a good enough team to be able to win every night," Nordstrom said. "We're not happy with the way that we started the games on this trip. That's something, obviously, we've got to work on."

Jacob Trouba scored off the rush to give Winnipeg a 3-2 lead at 7:38 of the third period, and Nikolaj Ehlers pushed the lead to 4-2 at 13:02 after Bruins forward Danton Heinen lost the puck in the slot. 

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

Coyle cut the lead to 4-3, scoring on a redirection at 17:04 for his first goal with the Bruins. 

"They're a home team that lost a game the other night late in the game, you knew they were going to come hard so you've got to weather the storm," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We got ourselves back into it, but not quite enough." 


They said it

"Listen, I don't like to lose one in a row so there's always concern. There's different factors that go into it. I think we played three very good hockey teams this week, that's part of it. Part of it is, as mentioned, is we haven't started on time so we've put ourselves in a hole so we're playing catch-up every night. That's a bad formula in the National Hockey League." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy

"What we've wanted to do now is get into that playoff mentality, get ready for the playoffs. Put together a full 60 like we did today. They're a good team, a playoff team with a lot of skill. We played the game we needed to play." -- Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers


Need to know

Bruins forward David Krejci had two assists and has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past six games. … Wheeler has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in his past 11 games. … Laine has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games. … Bruins forward Brad Marchand had his eight-game point streak end. 


What's next

Bruins: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NESN, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the Calgary Flames on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNW, SNP, NHL.TV)

Video: Scheifele, Jets defeat Bruins, 4-3

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