BOSTON – For the second straight game, the Boston Bruins lost star defenseman Zdeno Chara to a penalty late in a tied game.
And once again, the penalty kill survived missing the captain and helped set up the Bruins for a victory Monday.
The Bruins' penalty kill is now 9-for-9 through two games (both wins). In Saturday night's win against the New York Rangers, a penalty to Chara in the third period of a one-goal game put Boston down two men. But Boston thwarted the Rangers' power play.
"We've had a good penalty kill for a number of years now," defenseman Andrew Ference said. "I think our forwards probably don't get as much credit as they deserve either. Whether it's [Chris] Kelly or Bergeron up front, especially in those situation, they make our life really easy. So I think there's that confidence going into those situations where it's the same personnel a lot of the times, or a combination of just a couple, and you know that with doing it so many times together, you kind of know where each other is going and it's not as nerve-wracking as it should be."
The Jets didn't even manage a shot on goal on that power play in the extra session or in the overtime as a whole.
"It's disappointing when you get those opportunities in the end there," Jets forward Evander Kane said. "Myself, I can't be making those bad passes and not generating anything. But that's something that we're going to have to get better at. We'll train up and move forward."
While the Bruins prevailed in their season-opener, the Jets were thrashed 4-1 by Ottawa in their season premier Saturday. By getting to the shootout against Boston, the Jets earned their first point of the season and proved they could go toe-to-toe with one of the Eastern Conference's perennial contenders.
It took just 1:58 for the Jets to show they'd put their disappointing opener behind them. Chris Thorburn scored the game's first goal on a rebound of a shot by Paul Postma.
"It always feels nice to score, especially when you can help your team get a lead, or get back in it," Thorburn said.
The Bruins answered with 5:48 remaining before the first intermission, when Seguin stole an Andrew Ladd pass at the Winnipeg blue line. Seguin rode his momentum toward the Jets net and drew Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec out of the crease. Brad Marchand then buried the puck after a pass back from Seguin.
The teams played at a breakneck pace most of the rest of the afternoon, with both teams finishing with 27 shots on goal. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves in regulation before he stopped two of three shooters in the post-overtime showdown. Pavelec stopped Chris Bourque's attempt after he was beaten by Seguin and Bergeron. Bryan Little then failed to beat Rask as Winnipeg's third shooter.
Although the Jets have picked up just one out of a possible four points, the difference in their play 48 hours after their opening-night struggles is a source of positivity.
"Against a good team tonight, in a tough building to play, we did well," Thorburn said. "We did a lot of things good that we can take into [Tuesday's] game, and there's also some stuff that we can clean up. But overall, we're not happy with the one point that we did get. But we'll take it, move on here, and hopefully get to .500 [Tuesday]."
With a 2-0-0 start to their season, the Bruins have shown they've taken coach Claude Julien's message about urgency to heart.
"Well I mentioned that to the players just before the third period that this next 20 minutes is probably just as important as the last 20 we'll play in this regular-season schedule," the coach said. "So we had to do whatever we could to come up with two points ... and I think we realize how important a good start and a quick start is for every hockey club. I think we need to continue to think that way."