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Bruins blow another third-period lead in loss to Jets

03.19.13 at 10:31 pm ET
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The third period hurt the Bruins once again Tuesday, as they saw the Jets erase their 1-0 lead and hand them a 3-1 regulation loss in Winnipeg.

The loss highlighted a troubling pattern for the B’s, as they have led in the third period in five of their six regulation losses this season, blowing third-period leads to the Sabres (twice), Canadiens, Penguins and now Jets.

Brad Marchand scored eight seconds into the second period to get Boston on the board, and that lead held up until former Bruin Blake Wheeler redirected a Zach Bogosian shot past Tuukka Rask on a Jets power play with 8:16 remaining in regulation. Less than a minute later, Evander Kane scored on a rebound to give the Jets the lead and a big win for a Jets team that overtook first place in the Southeast Division with the victory. Wheeler added an empty-netter with 6.8 seconds left to give him 14 goals on the season.

The loss stung more than usual for the Bruins, who were already without Chris Kelly (broken tibia) and David Krejci (knee) and lost Adam McQuaid early in the first period to an upper-body injury.

The Bruins will continue their Canadian road trip when they face the Senators Thursday night in Ottawa and the Maple Leafs Saturday in Toronto.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins lost Adam McQuaid for the game after a hit he took from Jets forward Eric Tangradi in the corner on McQuaid’s shift. McQuaid appeared to hurt his shoulder on the play, and the B’s announced after the first period that McQuaid would miss the rest of the contest with an upper-body injury.

With McQuaid out, his usual partner in Andrew Ference was paired with Johnny Boychuk, while Dennis Seidenberg saw time with both Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton. Chara led the B’s with 20 shifts and 18:52 of ice time through the first two periods.

– The Bruins had two power plays in the first period (both penalties drawn by Johnny Boychuk) and mustered a grand total of zero shots on the man advantage. Though they got a pair of shots on goal on their first of two third-period power plays — including a Pavelec robbing Zdeno Chara in front — the B’s finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage.

– Wheeler’s power-play goal halted Boston’s consecutive penalties killed streak at 27. The Bruins held the Jets without a shot on the power play that followed a Hamilton interference penalty, but Wheeler came through with the key goal with Jordan Caron in box for hooking Bryan Little in the third period.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Marchand’s goal was his first in the last eight games. The Bruins’ leading goal-scorer wasn’t exactly slumping over his gaal-less stretch, as he had five assists in his seven games without a goal.

Claude Julien said that he was going to start Ryan Spooner on the top line and then adjust over the course of the game if need be, but he didn’t have to do the latter on Tuesday. Spooner handled the responsibility thrown at him well, holding his own centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton and getting power play time. He made a nice backhanded pass to Lucic on Boston’s third-period power play to set up a Lucic bid that was denied by Ondrej Pavelec. Spooner also created a turnover behind the net following the Jets’ goal that allowed Lucic to set up Horton in front.

– Rask came up big with the Jets piling on the pressure in the third period, stopping Eric Tangradi and then turning in a huge save on the follow-up bid by Chris Thorburn.

Tuesday marked Spooner’s second career NHL game. He played 5:29 last month against the Canadiens and 15:29 Tuesday.

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