Chris Kelly scored two goals and Brad Marchand added an empty-netter as the Boston Bruins erased a two-goal deficit early to win for the 11th time in 12 games in front of a sellout crowd at TD Garden Saturday night.
The Bruins got a power play goal from captain Zdeno Chara to get their scoring started in the first period after Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien scored within 39 seconds of each other to put the Jets up 2-0.
But it was smart coaching, not elevated play, that won the game for the Bruins.
Following Byfuglien's slap shot from the right point that beat Thomas to extend Winnipeg's lead, Bruins head coach Claude Julien called a timeout to rally his troops.
"You are not always going to feel great," said Chara when asked what was talked about during the timeout. "But the bottom line, if you don’t have your legs you have to move the puck and that’s what we were focusing on, moving the puck. And making simple plays and putting a lot of pressure on them."
The Bruins did just that, moving their legs and creating chances before eventually Byfuglien went off for interference. On the ensuing power play, the Bruins settled comfortably into the attacking zone and David Krejci found Chara at the right point and the 6-foot-9 native of Slovakia boomed a shot past Ondrej Pavelec.
Kelly's two goals in the second period came in just 2:59 of ice time as six penalties made finding even strength time virtually impossible. But the first goal should really have been given to Rich Peverley.
Nathan Horton went off for tripping Nik Antropov, but it didn't look like Winnpeg had the man advantage at all, as Boston's penalty-killing forward duo of Peverley and Kelly spent an awful lot of time in the attacking zone. When Winnipeg finally managed to gain the Boston blue line, it was Peverley who broke up the play, skated through two Jets' defensemen, and slammed the puck in Pavelec's pads. Winnipeg's goalkeeper was unable to smother the puck, and a trailing Kelly deposited it into the back of the net to tie the game.
It took nine more minutes for the Bruins to take the lead, but they did so when Peverley left the puck at the blue line for Benoit Pouliot, who seemed determined to drive to the net before seeing Kelly open on the right wing. A seeing-eye pass found the former Ottawa Senator's tape and Kelly one-timed it into the Winnipeg net.
"I was trying to fake the goalie and that was the play the whole time. I was thinking to go to Kels the whole time and he opened up well and just got a great one-timer on it," Pouliot said of the play after the game.
After Marchand scored with an empty net at 18:51 of the third, Winnipeg pulled Pavelec from net again and Kelly missed the net by about five feet from in front of the Winnipeg bench.