October 17, 2016 - 9:15 PM
WINNIPEG - Boston's David Pastrnak is ready to go home after taking two of three games on a season-opening road trip.
The 20-year-old Pastrnak scored the eventual winner on Monday as the Bruins ended their road swing with a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
"We're excited to get back and see our fans," said Pastrnak. "We can't wait to play in the Garden."
Pastrnak's team-leading fourth goal of the season came in his 100th career game and was a fortunate one, as he banked a long centring pass off Jets defenceman Tobias Enstrom and in late in the second period. The goal extended his point streak to three games and gives him six points on the season.
"I tried to beat (Jets defenceman Tyler Myers) wide but he made a good gap so I turned around, tried to look up, centred the puck and got a good bounce there," said Pastrnak.
Winnipeg (1-2-0) captain Blake Wheeler opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game. Boston (2-1-0) trailed for all of 19 seconds, however, as Dominic Moore tied things up at 10:19 of the first period.
"It's kind of the exact opposite of the last couple games — not a whole lot of time in the (offensive) zone, but we were capitalizing on our chances," said Wheeler.
"We didn't get the bounce that we needed at the right time. We were in pretty (good) control of that game until (Pastrnak) scored there at the end of the second period. It just felt like we spent a lot of time in the box in the third period and could just never really get into a rhythm to try to tie it up."
Rookie Brandon Carlo's first-career goal added the insurance for the Bruins with 1:59 remaining in the third period and Zdeno Chara scored an empty-netter inside the final minute.
Boston's Tuukka Rask turned away 34-of-35 shots, while Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced.
"We want to be able to consistently generate in a certain manner, things that you think you can replicate and do again. That was the real positive for us," said Jets coach Paul Maurice.
"We spent zone time against a pretty well-schooled defensive team and we were able to generate that. There was some finish, some shot-blocking, some quickness just with the final release of the puck that didn't go for us."
Wheeler opened the scoring when he was sprung by Alexander Burmistrov with a breakaway pass as Wheeler stepped out of the penalty box. He deked Rask and slid the puck behind the Bruins netminder on his forehand for his third goal and fifth point in his third game of the season.
The Bruins responded immediately as Moore scored his first of the season.
Boston took the lead briefly early in the second — prior to a coach's challenge video review by Maurice that determined Chara was unable to keep the puck onside before his shot from the blue line deflected off Winnipeg defenceman Ben Chiarot and past a screened Hellebuyck.
Neither team was able to convert on the power play, with the Bruins going 0 for 4 and the Jets 0 for 5. Winnipeg is just 1 for 13 on the season after finishing last season 30th-overall in the NHL in power-play efficiency.
"Those penalties were deserved. We did a good job of killing them and when we had the opportunity to get some scoring chances, I thought we were pretty good," said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
"Our back end wasn't pretty as far as getting pucks out, but the battle factor was there."
Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien continued his heavy log of ice-time this season. The 31-year-old entered Monday leading all NHLers in average ice time with 29:38 per game, and kept the pace up with 30:05 Monday night, including 5:20 while anchoring the power play.
The Jets round out a three-game home stand as they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday before hosting the Edmonton Oilers for the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Bruins' next game is their home opener on Thursday as they begin a three-game home stand against the New Jersey Devils. Centre Patrice Bergeron, who has missed all three games to start the season with a lower-body injury, has been skating in Boston and is expected to return to the lineup soon.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016