The Bruins rested their big guns, blew another third-period lead and took a 2-1 shootout loss to the Jets Thursday in Winnipeg.
Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron both sat, with Ryan Spooner entering the lineup and centering Bergeron’s line. Andrej Meszaros played with Chara sitting.
Brad Marchand scored the game’s first goal when, after Matt Bartkowski outmuscled his man in the corner of the defensive zone, David Krejci got the puck and sent it up to Reilly Smith, who sent the puck off the end boards to get it to bounce in front. Marchand got to the puck and backhanded it past Michael Hutchinson for his 24th goal of the season.
The game remained 1-0 until late in the third period, when former Bruin flew past Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla in the neutral zone and took the puck deep into Boston’s end before dishing to Evander Kane, who broke up Chad Johnson‘s shutout bid with 1:57 to go in regulation.
The Bruins have two games remaining in their schedule. They will host the Sabres Saturday before finishing the regular season Sunday in New Jersey.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins have allowed a lot of goals late in periods and late in games of late, and Kane’s game-tying goal was the latest. It’s tough to read into that as a real issue given that the regular personnel has been in and out of the lineup, but it’s a bad habit nonetheless.
- Hutchinson, a former third-round pick of the B’s, was strong with 30 saves in regulation. His biggest save came when he stopped Iginla on a first-period breakaway.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Jordan Caron played in his fifth consecutive game and had a decent scoring chance midway through the second period. The most notable thing there is that he’s getting in games, as he’ll almost certainly be needed at some point in the postseason given that he’s the team’s 13th forward.
- These final games can still be used as confidence-boosters, and a Reilly Smith had a couple of really good shifts. He had the strategic dump-in off the end boards to set up Marchand’s goal in the first and nearly scored a goal of his own on a third-period one-timer off a feed from Marchand. On that same shift, Smith got back quickly to break up an Evander Kane bid.
Smith got the puck in the slot in overtime and seemed to have an open look off a Johnny Boychuk steal, but Smith’s shot was blocked by Zach Redmond. Smith was also stopped by Hutchinson on his shootout attempt.
- In getting the secondary apple on Marchand’s goal, David Krejci reached 50 assists for the second time in his career. The other such season was his 74-point campaign in 2008-09 in which he had 51 helper.