February 26th, 2024

Bruins down Jets 4-1 in battle of division leaders for fifth straight win

By Ken Powtak, The Associated Press on January 22, 2024.

BOSTON (AP) – Charlie Coyle scored the tiebreaking goal late in the opening period and Boston’s tight defence carried the Bruins to their fifth straight victory, 4-1 over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in a matchup of NHL division leaders.

Jake DeBrusk and Jakub Lauko also scored as Boston improved to 10-1-3 in its last 14 games. Jeremy Swayman made 21 saves for the Bruins, who lead the Eastern Conference with 67 points.

DeBrusk’s short-handed goal with 5:25 left ended the Jets’ string of holding opponents to two or fewer goals at 14 consecutive games. The Los Angeles Kings did it in 18 straight during 2013.

Brad Marchand added an empty-netter that halted Winnipeg’s streak of holding its opponent to three goals or less at 34 games. The modern NHL record is 35 games, set by the 2015 Minnesota Wild.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Jets, who lead the Central Division with 64 points. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 17 shots.

Last season, Boston set NHL records for the most victories (65) and points (135) before being eliminated in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Florida Panthers.

Coyle, positioned in the slot, tipped Linus Lindholm’s shot from the point and it sailed past Hellebuyck, pushing Boston ahead 2-1 with 1:34 left in the first period.

The Bruins had jumped ahead when Trent Frederic collected a rebound and sent it over to Lauko, who scored from the top of the crease 2:20 into the game.

Namestnikov tipped Dylan DeMelo’s shot from the point and it dipped past Swayman’s glove, tying it at 4:16.

Coming off a nine-goal outburst in Saturday night’s win over Montreal and after scoring 14 total goals in their previous two games, the Bruins were faced with a tough test against the league’s best defensive team.

They improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven meetings with the Jets, getting some payback for a 5-1 loss at Winnipeg on Dec. 22.

The Jets came in giving up just 2.25 goals per game.

Boston responded with some stingy defence of its own, holding the Jets to single digits in shots on goal until the closing minutes of the second period.

Winnipeg also entered the night with the league’s top winning percentage (72.7 per cent) and Boston was second (72.2).

UP NEXT

Jets: Visit Toronto on Wednesday.

Bruins: Close a five-game homestand Wednesday against Carolina.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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