Bruins down Jets 4-1 for 5th straight victory in matchup of NHL division leaders

Mon, Jan 22, 2024
NHL News (AP)

Bruins down Jets 4-1 for 5th straight victory in matchup of NHL division leaders

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

Jake DeBrusk and Jakub Lauko also scored as Boston improved to 10-1-3 in its last 14 games. Jeremy Swayman made 20 saves for the Bruins, who lead the Eastern Conference with 67 points.

DeBrusk had a short-handed goal with 5:25 left and Brad Marchand added an empty-netter. Winnipeg had given up no more than two goals in 14 consecutive games, and three or fewer in 34 straight - one short of the modern NHL record set by the 2015 Minnesota Wild.

"We knew the challenge that was ahead of us. They've been playing some good hockey and they're where they are in the standings for a reason. They don't give up a whole lot," Coyle said. "You remember the last time we played these guys. They played really well, and we played really bad. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and we want to show them what we're capable of and what we can do. We definitely saw more of that tonight."

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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 wins (65) and points (135) before being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by Florida.

"That's probably the worst game we've had in a long time with our breakouts," Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness said. "We were slow moving it and the passes were soft. That allows Boston to play their game."

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.

"I think it's all about us," Jets forward Kyle Connor said. "We can play against any team, and I think we've shown that. We were just a little timid."

After scoring nine goals in Saturday night's win over Montreal and 14 total 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.

"They embarrassed us the last time we were in Winnipeg," Boston coach Jim Montgomery said.

"We have a lot of proud guys that represent the Bruins for a long time in a real good way," he added. "I think the opportunity to get back at them was something that was motivating."

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

Boston responded with some stingy defense 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%) and Boston was second (72.2).

UP NEXT

Jets: At Toronto on Wednesday.

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

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