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Krug shoots Bruins onto road trip with win

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Torey Krug sent the Boston Bruins off on their three-game California road trip in style Saturday.

The defenseman snapped an 11-game goal drought with two and set a career-high with three points in the Bruins' 4-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden.

"Anytime you're not contributing the way maybe you were before, it can get frustrating," said Krug, who missed practice Friday for maintenance. "And when all you want to do is help the team win and you're not contributing, it's tough. But it is a good feeling when you get the first one."

Daniel Paille had one goal and one assist for the Bruins (28-12-2), who finished their homestand 2-1-0 and have won 10 of their past 11 home games. Tuukka Rask made 36 saves.

Krug had three assists during his stretch without a goal.

"He played well. Again, when he's on top of his game offensively, he makes things happen," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "But I even mentioned there those two goals he scored, great job by [Justin] Florek and [Carl] Soderberg to screen the goaltender. And you've got to give credit to the people that do a good job around him too.

"But he got the shots on net, was good, and again, just a few times it's about him making safe plays at times. That's the part of his game that he's working on right now. But I liked his game a lot tonight."

The Jets (19-20-5) have lost the first two games of their three-game road trip that ends Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 22 shots.

"[Boston knows] how to win. They know how to do it in any kind of fashion, whether it's skill or mucking it up, and we knew that coming in," Winnipeg forward Chris Thorburn said. "So we just didn't get to the front of the net. We didn't disturb Rask enough. We got pucks there, we just didn't get bodies, and I think it was the result of the outcome."

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien put on a skating display prior to scoring first 10:54 into the game. After he stole a Krug pass at the red line, Byfuglien gained the zone and landed a shot on Rask. Byfuglien got the rebound, skated around the net, and rifled the puck past the goalie from the top of the left circle.

Krug bounced back, first with an assist on the game-tying goal. At the end of a shift, Gregory Campbell won a battle down low and fed Paille for a wraparound attempt Pavelec blocked. The rebound scooted to Krug at the left circle, and he fed the puck across to Paille for a one-timer at 14:06.

Paille missed a tip into an empty net earlier in the period.

"Yeah, you know I had the other one, and that was a great pass by [Matt Bartkowski], and it just kind of rolled off me, and I thought I had it," Paille said. "But I had another chance to bury one back door, and I mean I couldn't miss it again, otherwise I would have been frustrated. So I think it was good, definitely positive to get one in."

Krug scored the next two. At 3:08 of the second period, he dragged the puck off the left wall and fired a shot through a Florek screen past Pavelec for a 2-1 lead.

Krug put the Bruins ahead 3-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that went off Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba's stick before it landed in the back of the net at 7:18.

Krug's in-game turnaround was typical of his ability to forget miscues and continue to play with confidence.

"Yeah, it's frustrating when it seems to be that there's a tendency that when you're on the ice and the puck goes in your own net. So that's frustrating," Krug said. "And then it's all about putting it in the past and forgetting about it and making plays moving forward. And that's what we did tonight."

Reilly Smith extended the Bruins' lead to 4-1 at 9:59 of the third period. Brad Marchand's shot from the right dot trickled through Pavelec, and Smith tapped it in from behind the goaltender.

The Bruins have won their past 12 games vs. the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise dating to a 3-2 Thrashers win March 31, 2007.

Boston starts its California road trip Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks, followed by games against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

"I think this will definitely be our toughest challenge coming up playing those three Western teams, I don't think they have many losses at home," Paille said. "It's definitely going to be a tough road trip, but I think we're looking forward to that challenge with the best of that conference or that division, and being able to match up to their intensity and their physical play."

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