Before heading out west for a three game road trip, the Bruins hosted the Winnipeg Jets in a Saturday matinée at TD Garden. Behind two goals from Torey Krug and 36 saves from Tuukka Rask, the Bruins notched their second straight victory.
Here are three takeaways from the Bruins 4-1 victory over the Jets.
Krug redeems himself in big way
In the first period of the Bruins 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Saturday afternoon, Torey Krug’s weak clearing attempt found the stick of Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien wound up collecting his own rebound after a save by Rask, circled from the corner, and fired a shot past Rask to give the Jets the early 1-0 lead.
The goal only added to the defensive struggles that Krug has been faced with of late.
“It’s frustrating but it’s all about forgetting, and putting it in the past,” said Krug. “Forgetting about it and making plays to move forward, and that’s what we do.”
As a young defenseman Krug could have easily tucked his tail between his legs and let the turnover hurt his game, but instead Krug bounced back with two goals and an assist to lead the Bruins to victory.
Krug leads all Bruins defensemen in goals with 10. Krug’s offensive punch has been great for the Bruins since the Bruins recalled Krug during last year’s playoffs, but he has struggled at times in his own end with turnovers and defensive zone coverage.
Despite some of those issues, Krug is still learning and head coach Claude Julien still has a ton of confidence in Krug's game.
“Where does he rank, he ranks pretty high for a guy that’s in his first year, he’s been put into those kind of situations and again our power play has been as good and he’s been good at it and he’s been a big part of that success," Julien said. "A lot of good things moving the puck and carrying the puck up ice and he’s been a great asset to our hockey club and an asset that we have been looking for, for a long time."
Tuukka bounces back with solid outing
Entering Saturday’s tilt with the Jets, Tuukka Rask was on a streak where he allowed eight goals on 43 shots in his last two games. After taking the backup roll to rookie Niklas Svedberg during the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime win over the Nashville Predators Thursday night, Rask looked very solid with 36 saves and earned his 21st win of the season.
The Bruins rely heavily on Rask, that’s no secret. They need him to be on top of his game as the calendar turns into 2014 and that playoff push gets intense in the next few months. One good thing about Rask in his career has been his ability to turn things around after a few bumpy games and get himself going on a hot streak. It certainly seems like a few days off helped him turn things around after back-to-back losses.
“I felt sharp out there; you always try to and feel sharp and today I did," Rask said. "So it was a good game for me too and off to the road we go.”
Second period finally friendly to the Bruins
Entering Saturday’s contest the Bruins were a minus-2 in the second period all season, but in this one the middle frame couldn’t have gone any better for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins used two second period goals by Torey Krug to build a 3-1 lead and never looked back. The Bruins dominated the Jets from start to finish in the second period and had one of their better periods all season.
For Reilly Smith, it was a welcoming sign that things may be turning around for the Bruins in the second period.
“Yeah after the first period that’s probably the main thing we focused on coming back into the locker room. It wasn’t a bad first period, but I think we gave them a little too many chances – second period we turned it around,” said Smith, who scored his team leading 15th goal on Saturday.
“We talked about how we’re negative in the second period I think we’re minus one or two this year so that was one main focus we wanted to try turn around and change going into the second period after the intermission.”
The Bruins have been excellent all season in the first and third periods respectively. Becoming a better team in the second period will help the Bruins with those full 60-minute efforts that they have been looking for.
It will be a bad thing for the rest of the league if the Bruins can start putting in full 60-minute efforts night in and night out.
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