Boston Bruins Beat Winnipeg Jets 2-1, Insert Airplane Pun Here

Patrice Bergeron scores his game-winning shootout goal. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In their second game of the season and their first matinee game of the 2013 campaign, the Boston Bruins beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1, though they needed a shootout to settle the score.

There was another nice touch to start the game. Following a respectful moment of silence to remember Martin Luther King, Jr., the familiar notes of Phillip Phillips’ “Home” began and in came Aly Raisman to do the ceremonial puck drop while wearing her medals from the 2012 Olympics. Raisman is a Massachusetts native and a big Boston sports fan. I was hoping the organization would do something neat for her, but then the lockout put the brakes on that idea, so it’s good to see them doing things for her now.

Once Raisman was gone and the real puck had dropped, the Jets struck first with a Chris Thorburn goal less than two minutes into the first period. The Bruins were forced to play from behind for the first time this season, though Brad Marchand leveled the score later in the first, thanks to some great work in corralling the puck from Tyler Seguin.

But after that, anyone who came to the matinee hoping for a goal festival was disappointed. Much of the game was marked by the Bruins making a lot of attempts, but in the end missing more often than flights are missed by people in a crowded airport during a blizzard. (Hey, at least I’m making my airplane metaphors creative.)

Also, at one point, a little kid enjoying some chicken nuggets was caught by NESN cameras as he discovered a hair in one of them. Whoops!

But in the world of things unrelated to poor foodstuff handling, Tuukka Rask kept the door shut pretty well for the Bruins, at one point stopping Kyle Wellwood on a breakaway that would’ve put the Jets up 2-0. In the shootout, the only Jet who was able to score on him was one of the Bruins alumni, Blake Wheeler. That’s not to say Ondrej Pavelec was terrible, though, because he made some pretty big and impressive saves at times, plus he and Rask ended up with the exact same save percentage after both making 26 saves on 27 shots.

In the very end, though, Pavelec faltered in the tie-breaker, allowing Seguin and Patrice Bergeron to score. I thought it was interesting that Chris Bourque was Boston’s third shooter. He missed, but could he become one of the go-to guys for when every other method of securing a win has failed?

There was a notable change in the lineup: Dennis Seidenberg, who is day-to-day with an injury, was replaced by newcomer Bruin Aaron Johnson. This meant Dougie Hamilton was linked with Zdeno Chara on defense, which is actually the pairing I always wanted for young Hamilton. Well, that is after it was made clear that Torey Krug wouldn’t be getting a look in the big club.

Speaking of defensemen, hits on them played a role in the physicality between the two teams. A hit on Chara executed by Alex Burmistrov left Jack Edwards wondering where Burmistrov was for a while after that. Perhaps he needed some medical attention–or a little while to reflect on how that may have been a less-than-stellar idea. (Burmistrov would also try to tango with Adam McQuaid, which is the definition of a bad idea.) Later on, Wheeler put a hit on Hamilton that Chara took exception to, so he let him know of his displeasure. All told, the Bruins executed 48 hits and the Jets added 32.

Up next for the Bruins: a rematch with the New York Rangers, who find themselves off to a less-than-stellar 0-2 start for the season, on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. See this game on NBC Sports Network.

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