Bruins 4, Jets 1
BOSTON -- Rookie defenseman Torey Krug, never considered a serious contender for a spot on the United States Olympic hockey team, wasn't surprised when he didn't get the call.
But Saturday, with Team USA director of player personnel Brian Burke watching from the press box, Krug put on an offensive show that might have made Burke and his associates wonder.
Krug scored two goals and set up another with a nifty pass to lead Boston to a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in the Bruins' first game of the second half of the season.
Krug's goals, his ninth and 10th, tied him with Erik Karlsson of Ottawa and Shea Weber of Nashville for the league lead among defensemen.
It was his second two-goal game and the three points were a career high.
Winger Daniel Paille scored his sixth goal of the season off Krug's pass, and right winger Reilly Smith capped the scoring with his team-high 15th goal midway through the third period.
Krug left the game in the third period because of an apparent injury.
Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, also passed over by team USA, scored his ninth for the Jets (19-20-5).
Goalie Tuukka Rask, reached for eight goals in a little more than four periods in losing his last two starts, made 36 saves, 19 in the second period, for his 21st win.
With Jordan Caron out because of a back injury, Bruins coach Claude Julien, coaching his 500th game with Boston, placed new arrival Justin Florek on the line with veterans Paille and Gregory Campbell. That switched Paille from left wing to right.
The new unit was sharp from the start, with Paille missing an early tip-in before running into goalie Ondrej Pavelec for a penalty.
Krug then set up Paille for the first goal and Florek barely missed on a tip-in before Paille got the puck to Krug, who put the Bruins ahead 3:08 into the second period.
At 7:18 of the period, Krug took a pass from fellow defenseman Adam McQauid, moved in and scored again, his shot deflecting in off Winnipeg defenseman Jason Trouba.
The goal was initially credited to left wing Carl Soderberg, but was changed, correctly, later in the period.
The teams engaged in a two fights early.
After Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara came out of the penalty box for a head hit on right winger and former Bruin Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg right winger Chris Thorburn challenged Chara and held his own against the bigger man.
Right off the ensuing faceoff, two seconds later on the clock, Boston right winger Matt Fraser and Jets center James Wright went at it.
McQuaid and former Boston defenseman Mark Stuart fought in the third period.
NOTES: Claude Julien became the third coach in Bruins' history to coach 500 games with the team. Only Art Ross, who had four stints, had 728 games, and Milt Schmidt, who logged 726 in two stays, have coached more games with the team. ... LW Justin Florek made his NHL debut for Boston after being summoned from Providence with LW Jordan Caron out because of a back injury. ... The Jets played the middle game of a three-game trip, which ends in Pittsburgh on Sunday. ... The Bruins play five of their next six on the road and head to California for three, opening at Anaheim on Tuesday. ... Winnipeg D Jacob Trouba came in leading NHL rookies in ice time, averaging 21:26 per game. ... Calgary president and Team USA director of player personnel Brian Burke was in the press box. Winnipeg RW Blake Wheeler is the only player on either the Jets or Bruins to make the Olympic Team. ... The U.S. women's team was welcomed during the second period.
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