The NHL season is full of peaks and valleys.
While the Boston Bruins have had far more peaks during a blazing 25-4-2 start, they are also now getting every team’s best shot. The wins — like Monday’s 7-3 triumph over the Florida Panthers — are coming even without the best 60-minute effort.
The Winnipeg Jets will be the next team hoping to dent Boston’s 17-0-2 home mark on Thursday night.
“I think teams have done a really good job of scouting us and they’ve adjusted game plans,” coach Jim Montgomery said. “And I think a little bit of it is we don’t start well, then we get to our game for about 10 minutes and we get up 2-0. Earlier in the year we kept our foot on the gas and we just kept going, and now we take our foot off the gas and kind of manage, it seems like.”
The Bruins had to overcome Florida’s three-goal surge in the Monday win, but Patrice Bergeron scored a pair of third-period goals and added two assists to pace the team’s season-high offensive night.
The team’s resilience — at a never-before-seen level in Montgomery’s entire coaching career — was shown yet again in the finishing kick.
“If we can learn as we win, it’s better than learning as you lose,” Montgomery said. “But the losses will come, and then we’ll learn better.”
Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Connor Clifton added to the scoring as Boston built a 4-0 lead, while Charlie Coyle, David Pastrnak and David Krejci also lit the lamp.
Pastrnak is on his second nine-game point streak (seven goals, four assists), and Carlo scored his first goal this season.
Krejci became the eighth player in Bruins history to record 12 or more 10-goal campaigns.
“I feel like there’s been a lot of opportunities in the offensive zone for all of us defensemen and it’s a matter of putting it in the net,” Carlo said. “I think with our transition game you’ve seen some pretty good spurts.”
The Jets enter a road back-to-back after cruising past Ottawa 5-1 Tuesday at home, but it was not by any means a perfect game according to coach Rick Bowness.
“That 5-1 is a whole lot different than the 5-1 in Vancouver (last Saturday) where we played an outstanding 60 minutes,” Bowness said. “Again, with everything that has been going on — the injuries, the travel — we needed the win.”
A win is a win. It was Winnipeg’s third in four games.
Kyle Connor scored twice and added an assist to extend his point streak to 10 games (seven goals, 10 assists). Josh Morrissey also scored and has logged an assist in the same number of consecutive contests (one goal, 12 assists).
Three other Jets had multiple points.
One highlight came 1:58 into the game when Kevin Stenlund scored his first NHL goal since March 18, 2021, with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Stenlund, who signed a two-way deal in July, was playing with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose before being recalled on Dec. 11.
“It’s been fun to just be out there and play,” Stenlund said. “I want to help the team the way I can. Obviously, just fun to be here.”
The 26-year-old Swede has provided a jolt in five games as a Jet.
“That fourth line needed a boost and he’s given it that boost,” Bowness said.
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who played collegiately near Boston at UMass Lowell, missed the last two games (non-COVID illness).
David Rittich started both, making 35 saves in the Tuesday win.
Hellebuyck will travel to Boston and Washington, as Arvid Holm was returned to the AHL.
–Field Level Media