Connor scores twice, adds shootout winner as Jets top Bruins
BOSTON (AP) — A pair of Connors helped the Winnipeg Jets avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Kyle Connor scored back-to-back goals 34 seconds apart in the third period and delivered the only goal in a shootout as the Jets rallied behind goalie Connor Hellebuyck to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Hellebuyck stopped 36 shots, shutting out the Bruins in the five-minute overtime and all three rounds of the tiebreaker.
“I had a couple lucky ones tonight. I will say that,” said Hellebuyck, who stopped Brad Marchand on Boston’s final chance in the shootout. “I’ll definitely take some credit, but I’m not the only one out there and I think everyone out there did their part.”
Josh Morrissey also scored for the Jets and Mark Scheifele had two assists as Winnipeg rebounded from a 3-1 loss Monday night at Philadelphia following a nine-day layoff that encompassed the All-Star break.
“It’s always tough coming off a break, no matter how much you put into it and stay in shape. Nothing’s like game shape,” Connor said. “I think as the game got on, we started to get our legs under us and just got back to the way we play hockey.”
Patrice Bergeron scored twice for the Bruins. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist, and Marchand assisted on all three goals for Boston in its first game in 10 days.
“We just had some breakdowns,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You’ve got to be careful you don’t beat yourself and I think there was a little bit of that tonight — no disrespect to Winnipeg. They’re one of the best teams in the National Hockey League, but I think some of it was self-inflicted and the good teams don’t do that.”
Cassidy was particularly upset about a sloppy line change that allowed Connor to get free for a quick breakaway after a turnover in the neutral zone. He beat Jaroslav Halak to tie it at 2-all 4:27 into the third period.
Connor gave the Jets their first lead 34 seconds later on a one-timer from the slot. Scheifele and Blake Wheeler assisted.
Bergeron scored from the slot with 8:21 left in the third for his second of the night but Boston couldn’t get anything else past Hellebuyck, who played college hockey just 30 miles away at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
“He was great,” Connor said. “It’s good when you’ve got that type of goaltender back there.”
Pastrnak put Boston up 2-1 on a power-play goal with 1:27 remaining in the first period on a one-timer from the left point. Bergeron’s one-timer 9:49 into the game gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Winnipeg tied it with 5:27 left in the first on Morrissey’s slap shot from the blue line after the Jets won a faceoff during a power play with Zdeno Chara serving a slashing minor. It was only the fifth shot of the period for the Jets.
Trent Frederic made his NHL debut for Boston and picked up his first career fighting major in the second period after a scrum in front of the Winnipeg net.
Frederic and Brandon Tanev separated from the pack for a 1-on-1 bout that earned the kid a standing ovation from Boston fans — including his parents, who were shown exchanging high-fives in the stands as Frederic headed to the locker room.
“I wasn’t really going in trying to get one tonight but it just happened,” Frederic said.
The fight occurred with 3:44 left in the second and less than a minute after Boston’s Keven Miller and Adam Lowry exchanged a flurry of punches at the other end.
NOTES: Halak started in place of Tuukka Rask, still out with a concussion from a collision with Rangers forward Filip Chytil on Jan. 19. The Bruins placed Rask on injured reserve Monday, retroactive to the day of the injury. ... The Bruins posted a photo on Twitter of Frederic, a St. Louis native, as a child posing with former Blues captain David Backes, his right wing on Boston’s third line Tuesday night.
Jets: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Bruins: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.