SASKATOON – The Boston Bruins blanked the Winnipeg Jets 5-0 on Friday, in the final pre-season game for both teams.
This was Boston’s second victory over the Jets in as many nights, following a 3-2 win at Winnipeg. The Bruins pulled off to an early lead, scoring twice in the opening six minutes.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he will likely settle his roster by Monday, and won’t let his team get too comfortable despite a few early wins.
“I’m not putting too much stock in that,” he said. “I’ve seen teams have great pre-seasons then struggle through the regular season.”
Carl Soderberg scored 26 seconds in, helped by some slick passing from line mates Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith.
This was followed by Johnny Boychuk, who put one past Winnipeg netminder Al Montoya glove side from inside the blue line at 5:46.
Winnipeg struggled to generate any offensive momentum, registering only four shots in the second period and three in the third.
Jordan Caron racked up the Bruins third goal of the night 13 minutes into the second, assisted by Nick Johnson, during a scramble that caught Jets goalie Montoya briefly behind his net.
Nick Johnson made it 4-0 midway through the third period with a high slapshot from the blue line, with assists from Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski.
Patrice Bergeron put away a demoralizing fifth goal for Boston at 17:19.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he’s proud the team pulled away early, then played solid defence.
“We took a lot of pride in our last pre-season game,” he said. “We hit it hard and got a good team effort.”
Some 12,500 of the 15,190 seats at Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre were filled, with the crowd cheering overwhelmingly for Boston.
Jets assistant captain Mark Stuart said his team didn’t give the effort required, and isn’t feeling too positive heading into the regular season.
“There were just a lot of breakdowns,” he said. “We’ll be watching a lot of tape.”
Boston showed lots of offensive zing, seeming to have suffered little from the departure of longtime scoring stalwart Jaromir Jagr. He joined the New Jersey Devils on a one-year contract during the off-season.
Chara and longtime Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla displayed some good chemistry on the power play, setting up multiple scoring chances but failing to produce a goal this game.
Iginla said he’s meshing well with new teammates.
“There are a lot of different tools and a lot of guys who can pound the puck,” he said. “Nobody shoots harder than Chara, period.”
Tuukka Rask made 20 saves for the shutout.