Rapid Reaction: B's 3, Blue Jackets 2 (OT)
November, 14, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Milan Lucic scored with 48.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Bruins extended their winning streak to four games when Lucic blocked a shot, collected the ricochet at center ice, broke in on Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and beat him 5-hole. Boston earned nine of a possible 10 points during this five-game homestand.
"A great job of blocking the shot and he got on his horse and took off," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Lucic's winner. "Again, he can shoot the puck. He got him in the five-hole and it was a great decision on his part."
The Bruins received goals from Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton, while goaltender Chad Johnson made 32 saves to win his first game at TD Garden this season. The goal scorers for the Blue Jackets were Blake Comeau and Nick Foligno.
The Blue Jackets gained the early 1-0 lead when Comeau beat Johnson with a point-blank shot from the slot at 12:48 of the first period. Boston blueliners Dougie Hamilton and Zdeno Chara were caught chasing behind the net, leaving Comeau all alone in front for his second goal of the season.
Columbus was playing a physical game, but the Bruins broke through moments later and tied it at one. Eriksson was battling for position in front of Bobrovsky when Chara's easy wrister from the left point redirected off Eriksson's skate and snuck in at 18:10.
Boston took a 2-1 lead when Thornton's slap shot from the right faceoff circle was redirected off the stick of Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson and beat Bobrovsky at 10:09 of the second period. The Bruins are now 25-4 when Thornton has scored a goal. Bruins defenseman Torey Krug assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to five games. He now has six goals and six assists for 12 points in 18 games.
Foligno took advantage of another defensive breakdown by the Bruins and knotted the game at two at 16:34 of the second.
Saves of the game: With the game tied at two early in the third period, Johnson kept the Bruins in this one with solid saves on back-to-back 2-on-1s. He first stopped the Blue Jackets' Ryan Johansen with a quick right-pad save, then followed it up with another on Brandon Dubinsky.
Special is as special does: The Bruins continue to dominate on the penalty kill. Boston went 4-for-4 on the PK and has killed off 26 consecutive penalties. Overall, the Bruins are 50-for-58 on the PK this season.
"We were really disappointed in that game against New Jersey [when we allowed three power-play goals] and finding a way to bounce back and being real solid since then was a goal of ours," Julien said. "Every game is a new challenge and guys are looking forward to it and they want to prolong it as long as they can. So tonight we needed our goaltender as well to make the big saves at the right time and keep that streak going and we did."
Krejci injured: Midway through the opening period, top-line Bruins center David Krejci suffered what appeared to be a head injury when he lost his edge and went horizontally into the corner boards. It didn't help that the Blue Jackets' Dubinsky was trailing Krejci and made the collision worse. Krejci remained on the ice and was tended to by team trainer Don DelNegro. Krejci was able to skate off on his own and went directly to the dressing room. At the end of the play, Lucic was called for roughing as he attempted to bait Dubinsky into a fight. Krejci missed the remainder of the opening period but returned for the start of the second. He entered the game with three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 17 games.
"I don’t know if [Dubinsky] could have let up a little bit," Julien said. "It looked like he turned his hip and that his hip kind of hit him in the head there as he was falling. You have to be careful, because if you start looking at every hit and then you’re looking to punish every hit, we’re going to hurt our game more than we’re going to help it. So again, those things I’d rather let the people in charge look at it and dissect it and I’m certainly not going to stand in front of the computer and dissect it because he’s back and he’s with us and I need to think about preparing our team for tomorrow."
Up next: The Bruins concluded their five-game homestand and now hit the road for three games, beginning in Ottawa on Friday night, then heading to Carolina on Monday and the New York Rangers on Tuesday.