Jets-Bruins Preview

The Boston Bruins just suffered their first loss in nearly four

weeks.

They’ll try to bounce back quickly against a franchise that

hasn’t defeated them at home in more than four years, but which is

suddenly playing some excellent hockey.

The Bruins seek to lay the foundation for a new winning streak

by cooling off the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night in Boston.

Following what seemed to be an extended Stanley Cup hangover,

the Bruins (13-7-1) have returned to championship form in recent

weeks, winning 10 straight before Friday afternoon’s 3-2 shootout

loss to Detroit. Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored for the

Bruins in regulation.

After winning twice via the shootout and two other one-goal

games during the win streak, perhaps Boston was simply due to wind

up on the losing end for the first time since Oct. 29.

“We’ve played some good hockey (during the streak) and I think

we’ve had some games where we didn’t and found ways to win,” said

Tuukka Rask, who took the loss after making 29 saves through

overtime. “(Friday) we played a pretty solid game and lost.”

If the Bruins were due for a loss, they’re overdue to lose to

the Jets franchise in Boston. They have won eight straight home

games versus the former Atlanta Thrashers, with the last loss

coming March 31, 2007.

The Jets (9-9-4) ended an even longer drought with Friday

night’s 3-1 win at Carolina. The victory improved them to .500,

marking the first time a Winnipeg team has been .500 or better

since Dec. 16, 1995, when the old Winnipeg Jets were 14-14-3. That

franchise became the Phoenix Coyotes the following season.

Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd each scored and Bryan Little added

an empty-netter to seal the win over the Hurricanes and improve the

Jets to 4-0-1 since a five-game losing streak.

“We’re starting to find our groove here and figure out our

identity and what we need to do to be successful,” said Ladd,

whose goal was the 100th of his career.

Kane has four goals in those last five contests to bring his

season total to a team-high nine. For the season, Winnipeg is 7-0-0

when Kane scores a goal, and 2-9-4 when he fails to put the puck in

the net.

With a victory Saturday, the Jets will finish their first

winning road trip of the season. Their current three-game trek

began Wednesday with a 4-3 overtime loss at Washington.

After Rask got the call for Boston on Friday, Tim Thomas will

likely be back in net to put his unblemished November on the line.

The Bruins’ No. 1 netminder has won all seven of his starts this

month while posting a 1.55 goals-against average, a .943 save

percentage and three shutouts.

Thomas is 6-3-2 with a 2.86 lifetime GAA versus the Jets

franchise.