Bruins takeaways: Why bounce-back win vs. Jets was encouraging originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Bruins hit a rough patch over the last week or so — at least by their standards — with three losses in a four-game span, including back-to-back defeats in regulation for the first time all season.
It was their worst stretch of the 2022-23 campaign aside from losing four of five around the All-Star break. The Bruins responded to that late January/early February slump by going on a 10-game win streak.
Will we see something similar unfold in the coming weeks?
The Bruins needed a bounce back Thursday night and they got it. A 3-0 win over a very good Winnipeg Jets team on the road is just what the doctor ordered for Boston.
Here are a few takeaways from the win that will impact the team through the end of the regular season.
Avoiding a bad start
Slow starts have been a huge issue for the Bruins of late.
March 11 vs. Red Wings: Trailed 2-0 after first period
March 12 at Red Wings: 1-0 after period, 4-1 after second period
March 14 at Blackhawks: Trailed 1-0 after first period
The Bruins have been great at erasing deficits this season. Their 17 victories and .585 win percentage when trailing first both rank No. 2 in the league behind the New Jersey Devils. But at some point, constantly playing from behind catches up with you, and the Bruins need to get back to being aggressive early in games and putting opponents on their heels.
They did this against the Jets. Trent Frederic scored just 50 seconds into the game and then Pavel Zacha doubled Boston’s advantage later in the period.
The Bruins are 34-1-3 when they score first. They are a tough team to play against when the opponent is chasing the game. The Jets found out first hand Thursday night.
Penalty kill steps up in huge way
The Bruins’ penalty kill has been the best in the league pretty much the entire season, and it still ranks No. 1 with a 85.7 percent success rate.
But in the five games before Thursday, the Bruins’ PK was 30th in the league at a 58.8 percent rate. Boston allowed power-play goals in four of those five games and five goals in total.
Thursday against the Jets was a step in the right direction for the Bruins as their penalty kill got back on track. The Jets had five power plays and didn’t score on any of them.
Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman made a couple huge stops shorthanded and finished with 10 saves on the penalty kill — four of which were on high-danger scoring chances.
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