Bruins Beat Columbus in Overtime 3-2


The Bruins came into Thursday night looking to finish their home stand strong as they eyed their fourth consecutive victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Black and Gold has put together a string of impressive hockey games lately as they’ve been victorious against the Panthers, the Maple Leafs, and the Lightning.

It took a while for the TD Garden to fill up, but when it finally did, it marked the 177th consecutive sellout for a Bruins game.

Backup goalie, Chad Johnson got the start in net.  Johnson’s last start came on November 2nd when the Bruins lost to the Islanders.  Matt Bartkowski slid into place in the lineup for the injured Adam McQuaid who suffered a lower body injury.

It wasn’t long into the game, before the first penalty was called.  Brandon Dubinsky headed towards the box 2:59 into the first period handing the Bruins an early power play.  The Jackets killed off the penalty, but the Bruins spent 1:28 in the attacking zone and managed to get 2 shots off on goal during their power player.

A few minutes later, Matt Bartkowski was sent to the sin bin for interference at 5:15.  The Big Bad Bruins had no problem whatsoever on their penalty kill as they made it 23 penalties in a row that they had killed off.  Columbus spent less than half of their power play time in the attacking zone as they only managed to get 2 shots off.

The game continued on scoreless, then David Krejci was sent crumpling into the boards.  His helmet toppled from his head as he was crunched.  Dubinsky hit Krejci who lost his edge as he collided awkwardly into the boards and went down.  The boards came in contact with his head as he lost his balance.  The forward was clearly shaken up despite the hit being clean.  It took him several seconds before he was able to get up onto one knee. He skated off the ice on his own and headed down the tunnel to get checked out.  Kelly slid into Krejci’s spot on the first line and played with Iginla and Lucic.

Milan Lucic sought for some revenge upon seeing his line mate injured and found Dubinsky.  He was assigned a roughing penalty and the Bruins were short handed again.  That’s all right.  The Bruins once again killed another penalty.  They continued to make it look easy through out the entire night.

A few seconds after the Bruins successfully made it 24 penalties in a row that they had killed off, the Blue Jackets struck first.  It was the first time that the Bruins had found themselves down in a game since they played the Dallas Stars, in which they eventually lost to them in a shootout.

Blake Comeau got past Johnson.  The score was 1-0 in favor of Columbus.  The B’s looked as if they were sleeping on the play that allowed for Comeau to score.

Boston has never been known to be a quitter.  It meant nothing for them to be down early in the first period of a game.  There was plenty of hockey left on the clock.

Loui Eriksson netted his third goal of the season and his first in 8 games to tie it.  The Boston forward deflected a Chara shot off of his skate and into the goal.  It was reviewed but the call on the ice stood.  The goal was good.  The score was knotted at one at 18:13 in the first.

In the last few minutes of the first period, the Bruins had upped their level of intensity.  When the horn sounded signaling the end of the period, the B’s had 7 scoring chances compared to only 3 chances by Columbus.  They outshot the Jackets 11-8.

David Krejci was back on the ice for the start of the second period proving just how tough hockey players can be.  He had only played 5 shifts in the first and tallied 4:17 of ice time before he was injured.  He was ready to play again and looked no worse for wear.

Soderberg had a nice chance on a breakaway, as Kelly connected with a perfect pass to his stick.  The big Swede was out on the ice on his own, but his shot was turned away and blocked.  The score remained tied.

The Merlot line stepped up to put the Bruins ahead at 9:51 in the second period.  Shawn Thornton rocketed a shot and sent it past Bobrovsky on the glove side.  It was Thorty’s second goal of the year.  The forward had scored 3 goals in all of last season.  Campbell and Torey Krug picked up the assists on the go-ahead goal.  Krug now has notched points in his past five games.

Columbus refused to quit as they didn’t back down.  The game was far from over.  Johnson kicked away a rebound that found Foligno.  Nick Foligno scored easily to tie it up at 16:25 in the second on the backhand.

The Bruins skated into the second intermission tied at 2 goals a piece with the Blue Jackets.  They knew that they had to turn their game up a notch if they wanted to win.  The B’s led shots 23-20 heading into the final frame.

As the game wore on, it seemed as if the Bruins improved.  After playing a not so sharp second period in which Boston allowed for Columbus to tie the score, they were better.  Chad Johnson stood on his head a few times making huge saves.  His saves became fluid as he steadily improved quieting the doubters.  His confidence flourished as he turned away shot after shot.

Chris Kelly was sent to the box for tripping with 13:20 remaining in the game.  The Bruins didn’t allow for the Blue Jackets to score once again as their streak became 25 penalties killed.  A bit later, they killed off a Marchand penalty for interference and the stretch of penalties killed by the Bruins was now set at 26 in a row.

Momentum seemed to shift in favor of Boston as time wore on.  They got a few good chances off but didn’t make anything out of them.  The game was to be decided in over time as 60 minutes of hockey wasn’t enough.

Johnson remained calm, as he hushed his doubters all throughout overtime.  He made huge saves, turning away the Columbus attempts easily.

When there were 48.6 seconds left in overtime, it was all Milan Lucic.   The big forward found himself with a breakaway as he stepped up.  Lucic tore down the ice beating all of the defenders and flipped the puck through the five-hole to win it for Boston.  It was Lucic’s 8th goal of the season, tying the number of goals he had during the 2013 regular season.

The Bruins topped Columbus 3-2 in overtime.  It was their fourth straight win.  Rookie, Chad Johnson stopped 32 of the 34 shots that he faced.  The B’s managed to continue their impressive penalty kill streak which now stands at 26.  The Black and Gold finished off their home stand securing 9 out of 10 possible points as they head to play the Senators in Ottawa on Friday night.

Rachel Murphy – NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

Follow along with Rachel on Twitter: @rembostonsports

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