By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Mark Scheifele likes how Patrik Laine continues to fit in on the Winnipeg Jets’ top line.
Scheifele scored once and added a pair of assists, while Blake Wheeler had a goal and one assist and sharp-shooter Laine contributed a pair of helpers in a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
“I think what guys realize about me and Wheels is it’s never one guy’s the passer, one guy’s the shooter,” Scheifele said. “We all do the work, we all do what needs to be done.
“When you’re the guy to score, you’re the guy to score. When you’re the guy to pass, you’re the guy to pass. That’s the way we’ve always worked.”
Laine found Scheifele rushing to the net on the power play and sent him a pass for his career-high, team-leading 33rd goal of the season at 11:24 of the first period to give Winnipeg a 2-0 lead. Scheifele had been held off the scoresheet the previous four games.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was ready for Laine to shoot.
“All the options are right there, obviously, but when it’s one of the best shooters in the league you don’t want to cheat on that so I just didn’t make the push on time,” Rask said of the Finnish sniper who has 29 goals this season.
Laine was planning to shoot.
“Yeah, I thought I was going to shoot, too,” he said. “if I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t think the goalie’s going to know what I’m doing. I thought first I was going to shoot it, I was pretty close. But then I saw Scheif back door so might as well pass it sometimes.
“I’m not just a shooter, I guess,” Laine added. “I’m a pretty decent passer as well, like we saw in this game.”
Nikolaj Ehlers scored the game-winner with seven minutes remaining in the third period after defenceman Jacob Trouba made it 3-2 early in the period.
Charlie Coyle cut Winnipeg’s lead to 4-3 with 2:56 left, but the Bruins couldn’t tie it up with an extra attacker and lost their third game in a row, all on the road.
“It’s like a lot of (games). Other teams are taking it to us,” Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy said of his team’s poor starts.
“They clearly have more energy early on. Some of that could be fatigue in our group. Some of it could be personnel in our lineup that are a little nervous to get started. We took an offensive-zone penalty against one of the better power plays so there’s a number of things. It’s not one thing. It’s different things that usually add up and that was it tonight.”
Charlie McAvoy and Joakim Nordstrom also scored for the Bruins (42-20-9) and David Krejci added two assists.
Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves for Winnipeg, which moved three points ahead of Nashville for first place in the Central Division.
Rask stopped 20 shots for the Bruins, who were without injured defenceman Torey Krug (upper body).
The Jets ended a two-game losing skid and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Wheeler scored his 20th goal of the season 1:08 into the first off a rebound after Laine’s one-timer hit the crossbar.
McAvoy’s high shot at 17:23 cut the lead to 2-1 and Nordstrom tied it up at 10:00 of the second when he banged in a rebound behind a sprawled Hellebuyck.
The Jets had a chance to go ahead with their second power play of the game a few minutes later, but Laine twice hit a post.
Boston had outshot Winnipeg 30-19 after two periods.
Winnipeg wraps up a three-game homestand Saturday against Calgary. Boston hosts Columbus on Saturday.