The Blue Jackets took a 2-1 lead in their second-round playoff series Tuesday night in Columbus, winning Game 3 by taking down Boston by a 2-1 score in another tight game in a series full of them.
Game in a Paragraph
In front of a rocking crowd of 19,337 in Nationwide Arena, Columbus took a 1-0 lead in the first period and made it 2-0 thanks to a power-play goal in the second. But the Bruins got one back late in the second on a play that required review, setting up a tense third period. But Sergei Bobrovsky made a number of excellent saves and the Jackets held on for the win.
Video: Second Round, Gm3: Bruins @ Blue Jackets
Quote of the Game
Captain Nick Foligno on the tight nature of the series: "It's not tough, it's awesome. I don't know how to explain it to you guys. This is what you envisioned playoff hockey to be. This is what I did, at least. The hardness of it, the compete from everybody -- you get hit, they hit you, you hit them, sticks are flying, punches. It's fun. It's what you dream about as a player."
- Matt Duchene scored a power-play goal to tally for the second game in a row.
- Boone Jenner tallied his first goal of the postseason and had five shots on a goal a game after having seven.
- Bobrovsky finished with 36 saves including a number of the standout variety. The 36 saves are the most for him this postseason.
The two teams were about even through the opening 20 minutes in zone time, but Boston had some good chances through the opening minutes, including a chance right in front by Patrice Bergeron less than three minutes into the game. Charlie McAvoy also hit the post in the early going for the Bruins.
But it was Columbus that left the period up 1-0 thanks to Jenner's goal with 1:23 left in the period. The big forward took the puck, cut across Connor Clifton in front of the net and fired from left to right to cross up Tuukka Rask and tucked his shot just inside the post to give Columbus the lead.
The second period was hectic, including a great chance for Columbus to make it 2-0 when Jenner had a good look on Rask and then Cam Atkinson slid the rebound across the crease behind the Boston goaltender but still just wide, and Jenner's follow was stopped in the blue by Zdeno Chara.
But the Jackets did make it a 2-0 game on the power play at 12:42 of the second period. The Jackets held the puck in the zone for nearly an entire two-minute power play with Brad Marchand in the box and took advantage with seven seconds left on the PP. Atkinson's shot was deflcted in front before Foligno was stopped in by Rask, but Duchene found the second rebound and put it into the net.
Bobrovsky made a couple of standout saves late in the period as Boston pushed, including a pad save on Karson Kuhlman and a save on a shot by Marchand in which the rebound trickled into the crease and Bobrovsky flopped onto his back and knocked the puck away from the goal with a swim move.
But finally the dam broke with just 39.9 seconds left in the period. Jake DeBrusk took the puck to the net and shot it, and Bobrovsky felt the puck trickling through him and tried to cover it up, but it slid free and just barely went across the goal line. The goal was waved off on the ice but review showed it to be a good goal.
Boston had a good chance with its fourth line five minutes into the third, but Noel Acciari drilled the post to the left of Bobrovsky after working himself open. Columbus also had a chance to extend the lead near the midway point as Josh Anderson got open back door, but Foligno's pass just eluded him.
Brandon Carlo then hit the crossbar on a drive with just more than nine minutes to play as the Bruins looked dangerous down the stretch. Then David Savard took a penalty for tripping with 8:42 as he took Marchand down advancing to the net, but 16 seconds later Anderson made a strong move to the net on the kill and was taken down by Bergeron.
Boston pulled Rask with 2:09 to go and Bobrovsky made an incredible save with 1:01 left on a high tip by Bergeron. Finally, the horn sounded for sweet relief for the CBJ faithful as Columbus had the series lead.
By the Numbers
Duchene is the first Blue Jackets player ever to score five goals in a playoff season. … Jenner has seven goals in 15 career regular-season games vs. Boston including a hat trick earlier this season. ... Atkinson has three assists in the last two games. ... The attendance was the second largest in Nationwide Arena history. ... The Blue Jackets have 59 goals in the last 15 games going back to the regular season and are 13-2 in that span. ... Columbus is 3-0 in the playoffs this season at home. ... The Blue Jackets are 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) this postseason on the power play.
Columbus made one change to its lineup, entering Ryan Dzingel back into the lineup in place of Alexandre Texier.
The Jackets and Bruins get back it at for Game 4 on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. faceoff.