Bruins Tally a 3-1 Win Over Columbus

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The Black and Gold travelled to Ohio today and squared off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on the first road game of the season.  It was the 700th career game coached by Claude Julien, as well as both Soderberg’s and Mcquaid’s birthdays.  The Bruins came in looking to win.  They were aiming to rebound after suffering a tough loss against the Avalanche on Thursday night.

The two teams did not jump out to a fast start.  It took several minutes for them to gather up their game during the matinee matchup.  Dougie Hamilton was the healthy scratch for the B’s as Matt Bartkowski played in his first game of the young season.

A bit less than halfway through the first period, Shawn Thornton threw some punches with Jared Boll as the gloves were torn off.  The fight was short, as both players looked to ignite their teams.  They both were sent off the ice with fighting majors.

The period ticked away scoreless.  Bergeron was called for a holding penalty with 1:42 remaining in the first.  He was sent off as the Columbus power play units set to work.  The power play didn’t last for too long as Johnson scored on a one-timer.  Columbus had scored the go ahead goal at 18:52 in the first period and would head into the locker room holding onto the 1-0 lead.

When the horn sounded, the Spoked B’s led shots on goal 7-4.  They were tied for face-off wins with Columbus as both teams had 8 a piece.  The Bruins have allowed 5 goals on the season.  Out of the 5 goals, 4 of them have come within the final 4 minutes of a period.  Not a very pretty statistic right there.

The Bruins were down but they were not out.  There was still plenty of hockey left to be played.  A clean sheet of ice was waiting for them to start the second period.

Boston went on the power play for the first time early on in the second period.  Jenner picked up a double minor as he wished McQuaid a happy birthday by sending a high stick into his face.  McQuaid headed off the ice to get attended to, and would quickly return.  Halfway through the double minor, Seidenberg was called for tripping and the two teams skated four on four.

Kelly was tagged on a hooking call at 14:02 in the second as the B’s were served their fourth penalty of the day.  Kelly has been one of the best penalty killers on the year.  Paille had a short-handed bid on a breakaway but couldn’t seize enough of the opportunity as his shot was blocked.

Soon enough, Kelly made up for his trip to the sin bin as he scored the game-tying goal.  He was fed a pass from Jarome Iginla and scored on a strong slapshot.  The game-tying goal was the only one of the period.  Four games into the season and Kelly already has scored a pair of goals.  It took him 14 games last season to get his first.

The Bruins went back up on the power play with 1:25 left in the period as Wiesniewski was sent off for a roughing penalty, and they would carry some of that power play time into the third.

As the first forty minutes rolled to a halt, the B’s had won 21 face-offs compared to the Blue Jackets’ 14.  They were leading in shots: 23-17.  The momentum of the game had swayed in favor of the Bruins thanks to Chris Kelly.

In the third, Claude Julien switched things up.  He pulled Brad Marchand from his usual spot on the second line.  Reilly Smith who came over in the Dallas trade was slid into Marchand’s slot.  Marchand was put on the third line with Kelly and Caron.  Marchand had been struggling for a majority of the game.  He allowed a few turnovers.  Julien looked to motivate the forward to further find his game.  Smith seemed to easily adjust and was able to find chemistry with both Bergeron and Eriksson.  The three skated well together, and Smith was at ease.

49 seconds into the final period, and Loui Eriksson was welcomed to Boston as he scored the game winner for the B’s.  It was his first goal with his new team.  Bergeron and Smith both tallied the assists on Eriksson’s goal.

The Bruins were ahead and it would stay that way.  They kept a majority of the play down at the Blue Jackets’ end and didn’t allow for them to find the back of the net for the remainder of the game.  Columbus desperately tried to notch the equalizer but couldn’t.

The Jackets had another chance as they tried to drill Tuukka with shots.  Tuukka however was Tuukka.  He remained calm, cool, and collected in the net, as he simply said no time after time to the Blue Jackets.

Johnny Boychuk threw his body on the line as he lay out to block a shot.  He was slow to get up as he struggled to his skates.  He headed to the bench and was back on the ice a few moments later.  Boychuk symbolizes an aurora of toughness and it is one of his signature trademarks that his teammates love him for.  He isn’t afraid to get his body in front of the puck, even with the threat of getting injured.  During the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, he often did the same.

The Bruins went on the power play one more time during the game, but were unable to score.  Columbus pulled their net minder towards the end of the game, and Milan Lucic sealed the deal for Boston.  He won the puck battle and was able to score the insurance goal from the face-off circle.

The Bruins capped off the game with a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jackets to get back on the winning track.  The Bid Bad Bruins improved to 3-1 on the year.  Rask made 27 saves on the day.  Eriksson played 19:18 on the ice and led his team with 6 shots on goal.

The Black and Gold will go back to the Garden for a Monday afternoon game against their new division rivals the Red Wings.

Rachel Murphy – NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

Follow along with Rachel on Twitter: @rembostonsports

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