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Six Jets score in season-opening win against Bruins

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com

BOSTON -- The Winnipeg Jets used a balanced attack to make sure their four-game, season-opening road trip started on the right foot Thursday.

Six Jets scored, 12 had at least one point, and Winnipeg had three goals in the second period and three in the third to come from behind and defeat the Boston Bruins 6-2 at TD Garden.

The Jets franchise hadn't won here since March 31, 2007, a stretch of 13 straight losses, when it was known as the Atlanta Thrashers. Winnipeg trailed 1-0 and was outshot 14-6 in the first period.

"I think it was just being a little sharper and moving our feet," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. "They're a quick team and we were on our heels in the first. We kind of had to get going and try and play in their end."

Alexander Burmistrov and Drew Stafford each had one goal and one assist. Chris Thorburn, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Nicolas Petan also scored.

Petan made his NHL debut and scored when an Andrew Copp shot deflected off the back of his skate past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask at 9:51 of the first period. It wasn't exactly how the 20-year-old imagined his first NHL goal.

"Not quite, but nonetheless I'll take it. It's just an exciting feeling," Petan said.

Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves on 31 shots; Rask made 26 saves on 31 shots.

Scheifele tied the score 1-1 at 5:26 of the second period. After a pass by Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow to the neutral zone was broken up by Nikolaj Ehlers, Dustin Byfuglien gained the Boston zone and fed a pass back to Scheifele at the right hash mark for a snap shot.

"Well, we were better in the second [period] through the first six minutes, but not a whole lot to show for it, and you can't let it get to [2-0] at that point," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "… So once that happened I thought we just started to skate better. At the end of the day, we didn't skate particularly well in the first period, and after that we did, and that's the difference in our team."

The Jets took a 2-1 lead at 9:17 on Wheeler's one-timer from the right hash mark after a pass from behind the net from Ladd, who stripped the puck from Bruins defenseman Matt Irwin. Stafford scored on a touch pass across the slot by Adam Lowry at 17:39 to give them a 3-1 lead.

The Jets took advantage of defensive breakdowns by the Bruins on their three second-period goals. Boston was without top defenseman Zdeno Chara, who missed the game with an upper-body injury. Even before that, the Bruins were trying to integrate younger defensemen and new veterans, and the unit struggled and received little help from the forwards when Boston didn't have the puck.

"So I don't think it's necessarily [defensemen]," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I know we're young and we expect to have some challenges there, but I think we have to look at our games as a whole tonight and see where those mistakes were made. It was more than just the back end."

David Pastrnak got the Bruins within 3-2 1:25 into the third period, but Thorburn put the Jets ahead 4-2 at 5:17.

Boston held a 1-0 first-period lead on a goal by David Krejci. Pastrnak stole the puck from Ben Chiarot on the forecheck below the goal line and spun a shot toward the front of the net after skating back out front. Chiarot tried to clear it, but it went right to Krejci, who flipped in a backhand at 5:36.

"Well, we kind of got away from our defensive game," Krejci said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of creating a bunch of scoring chances, but on the other hand, totally forgot about our defensive game. So that's what happened."

Ladd recalled how the Jets won their opener last season, 6-2, with four goal-scorers against the Arizona Coyotes. Winnipeg lost four in a row after that.

"We've got to keep our heads level here and realize we've got to get better," Ladd said. "We didn't play a great game. We got better, but there's still a ton of room for improvement, and hopefully we can do that tomorrow night."

The Jets visit the New Jersey Devils on Friday. The Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

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