The Boston Bruins go to the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 2 - 1 on Friday night, Tuukka Rask returned to action after being out for over two weeks with a concussion. An outstanding performance as he made thirty seven saves earning a well deserved game’s first star. Jake DeBrusk scored the game winner on the powerplay just three minutes into the third as Rask and the defense did the rest to hold off the late Jets surge. The Jets have lost five straight games with Laurent Brossoit losing his last seven starts. Wow, four fights in one game! You’d think this was good ole fashion hockey. Seems odd how these two teams only play each other twice a season, but play like they have been longtime rivals.
The game began with Rask stopping Dmitry Kulikov on back-to-back shots just 0:07 apart, after that their would be hits left and right, Nicholas Shore on Chris Wagner, Brandon Carlo on Gabriel Bourque, Anthony Bitetto on Danton Heinen, you get the point. Neal Pionk found Nikolaj Ehlers who skated around the net to find Patrik Laine out in front for the 1 - 0 Jets lead. Rask would rebound making saves on Kulikov and Sami Niku, back and forth intense action as Patrice Bergeron would be denied twice by Brossoit. Minutes would go by with shots, block shots and hits before Charlie McAvoy hammered Mark Scheifele as he entered the Bruins zone that sparked a fight between McAvoy and Pionk, to many of the fans surprise, Poink got called for roughing for instigating the fight. Shortly after, Joshua Morrissey was called for slashing as the Bruins would cash in on the five on three as David Pastrnak made a heads up pass to Brad Marchand who dumped it off to Bergeron who ripped it glove side to tie the game.
The second would only get more physical as Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking, a little over a minute later Ehlers hit Marchand, both would drop the gloves. It would be Brandon Carlo’s turn to sit in the penalty box for delay of game but Rask stood strong with saves on Blake Wheeler and Scheifele, full action goes on when Charlie Coyle was called for tripping but the Bruins penalty killing unit continued to stay on task. Carlo would go to the box again for instigating but a pit stop first as he skated towards Bourque for fight three, Carlo would be ejected after the fight. It would only be a matter of time before we got another fight, Luca Sbisa went to the box for instigating as he duked it out with Karson Kuhlman before long, Sbisa too joined the ejected club. Torey Krug was called for holding at the last second of the period but “Mighty” Rask and the “Perfect” penalty kill unit did its thing to kick-off the third. Niku was called for slashing with Jake DeBrusk responding with the second power play goal of the night to give the Bruins the lead in this heavyweight fight of a game. DeBrusk’s three game point streak continues, Pastrnak (72 points) and Krug (33) are credited with the assists. The nonstop hitting would continue until the Jets solely concentrated in getting a goal through Rask as he rejected shots from Morrissey, Ehlers, Laine, Pionk and Wheeler in the final four minutes for a heart pounding 2 - 1 Bruins win.
To see the Bruins play a physical and fast tempo game after a ten day rest is astonishing. Rask getting back to action and playing one of his best games this season is a confidence booster to himself and any doubters out there. The question is can he and the rest of the team keep it up to remain the top seed in the Atlantic Division? As for the Jets, they could have come away with a win as they out shot the Bruins by thirteen, despite the score it was not as close as it seemed as Brossiot was off his mark along in having a rough season. It may be best for the Jets to look into a backup goalie like, Robin Lehner, Blackhawks or Alexandar Georgiev, Rangers as there is about a month to go before the trade deadline, this could give Connor Hellebuyck some help and a chance for the team to make a run for the postseason. There has been plenty of NHL and NBA action this weekend, now let's get ready for the Mother of All Sports Games, The Super Bowl!