WINNIPEG, MB (CBS) – With their offense almost exactly in the middle of the NHL rankings, and their power play famously scraping the bottom of the league, the Bruins went into Winnipeg on Sunday night boasting a deep forward corps in names only. Because statistically, they’ve been lacking.
Once Milan Lucic left the ‘Peg to attend to a personal matter, Boston’s front line figured to be challenged to create offense more than in any game so far this season. Just in time, however, the Bruins’ second line lived up to its hype as a second first line in the Bruins’ 3-2 win against the Jets.
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Although Brad Marchand, who scored the game-winning goal 36 seconds into the third period, has led the team in goals almost the entire season, his linemates – in particular Tyler Seguin – have been lagging behind in the goals department so far. Maybe the Jets victory will prove to be the turning point for the trio centered by Patrice Bergeron.
Fourteen months after Seguin overslept in Winnipeg, his line looked like it didn’t get a wakeup call for the first 20 minutes against the Jets. The second period saw that line make Lucic’s loss less of a concern.
Seguin, who’d scored just one goal against a goaltender heading into the Winnipeg game, scored on a second-period tip-in to get the Bruins even at one. If history has proven anything, it’s that goal scorers sometimes need a “dirty” goal to get on a streak in a positive direction. Perhaps Seguin’s score from in front will be the catalyst in his emergence again as one of the team’s leading scorers.
Bergeron set up Marchand’s goal, which came on the power play, and improved Marchand’s team-leading total to eight. Marchand’s score was yet another snipe that has become his trademark this season, more so than the yapping and agitating that was his hallmark prior to 2013.
When the Bruins are at their best, Bergeron’s line and David Krejci’s unit are exchanging goals, points and solid defensive plays in a battle for title of No. 1 line. Despite Marchand’s production, that fight’s been a no-contest in favor of Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Now the fight begins anew.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for CBSBoston.com and also contributes coverage to NHL.com and several other media outlets. Follow him on Twitter @TheBruinsBlog.