December 6th, 2011 by

Gameday: Bruins look to take over first in East vs. Jets

(Getty Images) Chris Kelly's two-goal performance led the Bruins past the Jets in the first meeting between the two teams. Tonight, he will look to help lead the Bruins to sole posession of first place in the East.

After an impressive victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night, the Boston Bruins will look to jump Sidney Crosby and company in the Eastern Conference standings and extender their unbeaten streak to 15 when they travel to Winnipeg for the first time since December of 1995 to face the Jets at the MTS Centre Tuesday night.

Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start in the Bruins’ second meeting against the Jets, while Ondrej Pavelec should get the start for Winnipeg.

Behind two goals from Chris Kelly, the Bruins got a 4-2 win in Boston in the first meeting between the two teams at the TD Garden on Nov. 26th.

More after the jump…

Game Details

Puck Drop: 8:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
2011-12 season series: 1-0 Bruins
Expected goalie matchup: Rask vs. Pavelec

What to watch for (Bruins)

Playing a second game in as many nights is always a difficult task, but this one might be a little tougher.

After the victory in Pittsburgh, the Bruins hopped on a plane for a 1,300-plus mile trip north of the border. As the game progresses, the Bruins will have to battle fatigue and a little more jet-lag than usual. That said, the Bruins know that they can take over first in the East with the victory.

Despite only having 13 points, David Krejci has been heating up the last four games with six points (two goals, four assists). Although he didn’t tally a point Monday, the Czech forward — fresh off his contract extension — fired four shots on goal and created offensive opportunities for fellow linemantes Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic. The first line, in general, has improved over the last few games and will look to provide the bulk of the offense after being held scoreless in the first meeting against the Jets.

What to watch for (Jets)

Like the Bruins, the Jets have seen an improvement in the last two months. After going 4-6-1 during the month of October, Winnipeg has posted a respectable mark of 7-5-3 in its last 13 games to reach the .500 mark (11-11-4 overall, 26 points) and find themselves trailing Buffalo and Ottawa — both by three points — in the Eastern standings.

Forward Evander Kane leads the team in scoring (14 goals, 7 assists) and has lit the lamp six times in his last five games; including a two-goal performance in Saturday’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Former Bruins Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart will face off against the Black and Gold for the third time in their careers. Wheeler has 15 points (2 goals, 13 assists) in 25 games with one point in each of his last four games, while Stuart’s three goals are already the third most in his NHL career.

Gameday links (Bruins)

Jesse Connolly breaks down the Bruins’ victory in his latest Black and Gold blog on hockeyjournal.com

 

Despite the long trip, head coach Claude Julien expects the best effort from his team night in and night out (John Bishop, BostonBruins.com)

Gameday links (Jets)

Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press discusses the team’s new-found confidence during the last couple of months.

NESN’s Jack Edwards says Winnipeg really loves its Jets.

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