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Weary Bruins stumble in Winnipeg, suffer first regulation loss in 16 games

12.06.11 at 11:16 pm ET
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No hockey team can win every game, and the Bruins proved that Tuesday night when their 15-game point streak came to an end in Winnipeg via a 2-1 loss to the Jets at the MTS Centre. The game was a tough task for the Bruins, who put up a valiant effort despite playing their third game in four days, but fell victim to a hot goaltender in the Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec.

Winnipeg got on the board first when Andrew Ladd fired a wrister over Tuukka Rask‘€™s right shoulder 18:21 into the first period to give the Jets a 1-0 lead. In the second period, both teams went on the man-advantage twice, but neither team could find the back of the net.

Shawn Thornton tied the game in the third period on a redirect of a Daniel Paille shot after Greg Campbell stripped Jason Jaffray of the puck at the top of the Winnipeg zone. The Jets reclaimed the lead 4:50 into the third when the Bruins gave up a 2-on-1 off a faceoff and Bryan Little cashed in, beating Rask five-hole for the game-winner.

The Bruins will get a day off Wednesday before hosting the Panthers at the TD Garden Thursday night.

What went wrong for the Bruins

- Pavelec was simply phenomenal for the Jets Tuesday night as he tied a season-high record for saves with 39. While the Bruins had plenty of scoring chances, they simply could not find a way to beat the Czech goaltender. In the last five minutes of the third period, the Bruins peppered Pavelec with shots, but he was perfectly positioned for all of them. He made a particularly impressive save on a Milan Lucic shot with 37.8 seconds left, when he slid across the crease just in time to cover Lucic’s attempt.

Boston experienced the same frustration on the power play, when, despite putting up 11 shots on three power plays, could net find the back of the net with the man-advantage.

- It seemed like nothing was going right for David Krejci Tuesday night. The forward had a flurry of offensive chances early in the game, including a rebounder fired from the top of the crease off a Zdeno Chara shot early in the second, but Pavelec frustrated Krejci’€™s chances all night. Krejci then took two minor penalties, one of which ended the second period and another at the beginning of the third period.

- The Bruins were without Tyler Seguin, who leads the team with 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 25 games. Seguin was a healthy scratch because he missed team breakfast Tuesday morning. It was not the first time Seguin missed a team activity, and Peter Chiarelli decided to use the episode as a learning experience for the young forward. Rich Peverley took over Seguin’€™s second-line duties. Jordan Caron filled out the lineup.

What went right for the Bruins

- Rask kept the game close in the third period when he dove forward to rob Evander Kane from just in front of the net seven minutes into the third period. The stop was an important one for Boston, who was losing momentum fast following a Winnipeg goal to make it 2-1 Jets. Rask made a flashy glove save midway through the period with the Jets on a power play due to a tripping call against Benoit Pouliot.

Those two saves were especially welcome from Rask since the first goal he gave up, a high wrister off Ladd’€™s stick, was one he may have wanted back.

- Fourth lines are not supposed to be scoring lines, so it is always an added bonus for a team when its fourth line can put up some points. Thornton did just that Tuesday night, when a Paille shot bounced off his hand to beat the otherwise unbeatable Pavelec.

- Johnny Boychuk returned to the game after taking a booming Zach Bogosian shot to the leg. Immediately after blocking the shot, Boychuck writhed in pain on the ice before hobbling to the bench. Boychuk recovered well enough between periods to play the third, which was especially fortuitous since it was Boychuk who slowed up Kane on what could have been a breakaway to put the game away late in the third.

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