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Bruins get gift, overcome two-goal deficit to beat Jets, 3-2

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The Bruins and their incredible run of home success appeared to be toast in the first period on Thursday at the Garden. They were being outplayed, outworked and outscored by two goals and the Winnipeg Jets’ terrific goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, was on his game.

But then Christmas came early in the second period, in the form of an incredibly fortunate bounce to start them on the comeback trail. They wiped out a two-goal deficit to to beat the Jets, 3-2, and extend their home record to 18-0-2.

Nick Foligno, who had a hand in the earlier fortunate goal, gave the B’s their first lead of the game at 11:08 of the third period, taking a feed from Charlie Coyle in the slot and ripping it past Hellebuyck’s glove arm to make it 3-2.

The Jets made a push at the end with the goalie pulled and Kyle Connor had a wide open chance in front of the net in the waning seconds but he could not beat Jeremy Swayman and the B’s held on.

The B’s found themselves with an early deficit just 1:58 into the game when Jets would not let them break out quickly. First, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk had trouble getting out from behind their own net. Then when it was looking like the B’s had a path out, Pavel Zacha’s pass to David Krejci went awry and right to Cole Perfetti. He dished it to an all-alone Mark Scheifele, who snapped it past Swayman.

Then the B’s found themselves down 2-0 at 7:20 after Jansen Harkins cut in front of a Josh Morrissey slapper, with the puck deflecting off Harkins and through Swayman, putting the B’s down by two goals for just the third time on home ice this year.

They were able to get points out of the first two occasions, but it became clear just how hard that would be when David Pastrnak was sprung for a clean breakaway. He appeared to have Hellebuyck faked out but, with most of the net staring at him, Pastrnak could not miss Hellebuyck’s glove.

After killing off a Winnipeg power play, the B’s got a man advantage of their own when Dylan DeMelo was forced to hold Coyle behind the net. They had their chances to halve the deficit, but they either missed the net on redirections or the passes were just off.

The Jets were repeatedly first to pucks and got the better of the play by a wide margin in the first. Highlighting the B’s frustration was a penalty Taylor Hall took with 2:02 left in the period. When it was clear he was not going to get to a puck on the forecheck, he simply hauled off and cross-checked Ville Heinola from behind.

The B’s wound up killing it off, but it wasn’t the best of signs. That would change.

Hellebuyck continued to frustrate the B’s early in the second period, first on a couple of even strength chances by Craig Smith and Hampus Lindholm, then a few more on a power play.

But Hellebuyck had no answer for the Garden stanchions, and the B’s benefited from a little Causeway Street magic. Foligno cleared the puck in and Hellebuyck went behind the net to play it. But it caromed off the stanchion in the glass and bounced straight out into the slot. The goalie made a valiant effort to recover but he couldn’t stop Pastrnak’s 22nd goal of the year at 12:08. The goal extended his point streak to 10 games.

Then, after Scheifele took a bad offensive zone tripping penalty against McAvoy, the B’s tied it up at 15:00 when Jake DeBrusk tipped home a Pastrnak pass and, stunningly, the game was tied at 2-2.

The building was ready to explode when Morrissey took a hooking penalty on Pastrnak shortly after the DeBrusk goal, but the B’s could not capitalize on this one and the teams went into the third tied up.

 

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