Just 20 hours removed from a thrilling 4-3 shootout victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto Wednesday, the Winnipeg Jets went to battle with fellow another Atlantic Division team in the Boston Bruins.
Once again, fans gathered at TD Garden in Massachusetts got their money’s worth as the Bruins and Jets engaged in a highly-entertaining one-goal affair, with the home team coming out on top 5-4, much in part due to the play of the league’s leading goal scorer David Pastrnak.
Coming into the game, Pastrnak, 23, was leading the league with 32 goals, while also sitting near the top of the charts in terms of power play point production. He added one power play goal, en route to his seventh career hat trick, bumping his goal total to 35 on the season.
After Kyle Connor opened the scoring with his 22nd goal of the year and eighth marker in his last nine games, Pastrnak one-timed a great setup pass from the slot past Laurent Brossoit and into a wide-open Jets net, knotting the game at ones through the first period – a frame that Boston dominated in the shot department.
Winnipeg went 2/2 on the power play on Thursday, capitalizing on two second period opportunities. First Andrew Copp collected his 100th NHL point on a redirection of a Josh Morrissey point shot for his second goal in as many days since returning from injury. Then, after Jake DeBrusk and Pastrnak added tallies for Boston mid-period, Neal Pionk scored on another tally with the man advantage with just seven seconds left to play in the middle stanza.
The third period saw the Jets re-take the lead momentarily, as Mark Scheifele banked his 22nd goal of the year off Jaroslav Halak from behind the goal line and into the Bruins’ net, handing Winnipeg a 4-3 lead with 12:10 to play.
Pastrnak tied the game with his third tally, as the Bruins combined to torch Winnipeg on a second goal as a direct result of a poor line change. Just 33 seconds later, DeBrusk collected his second of the game, redirecting a Charlie McAvoy point shot past Brossoit. The Jets were unable to come back from the 5-4 deficit, dropping the contest in Boston.
Brossoit stopped 31 of 36 shots by the Bruins, while Halak made 17 saves on 21 Winnipeg shots. Scheifele, Connor and Ehlers each had multi-point games for the Jets, while Pastrnak and DeBrusk did so for Boston.
Winnipeg now returns home for a three-game homestand, beginning on Sunday with an afternoon contest against the Nashville Predators, before taking on Vancouver and Tampa Bay later in the week. All three games can be viewed live on TSN. Puck drop on Sunday is scheduled for 1:00 PM central.