Presented with a chance to grab further hold of a playoff spot, Columbus (45-31-4) instead couldn't get much going in a 6-2 loss Tuesday to Boston (48-23-9) in the last regular season game of the year at Nationwide Arena.
Game in a Paragraph
After an energetic start by Columbus, Boston choked the life out of the game, taking a 2-0 lead after a period and a 4-0 lead after two while chasing Sergei Bobrovsky. Columbus scored a pair of power-play goals in the third to make it 5-2 -- and set a new franchise record for scoring in a season -- but Boston was able to finish off the win.
Video: CBJ Recap: Bjorkstrand, Duchene score in 6-2 loss
Quote of the Game
Head coach John Tortorella: "We got what we deserved tonight. They were the better team and they deserved to win, so we get ready for our next game."
- Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for the sixth consecutive game and tallied his eighth goal in the last eight games. He now has a career-high 22 tallies.
- Matt Duchene tallied his career-best 31st goal of the season and fourth as a Blue Jacket.
Boston got a fluky goal and a deserved one to take a 2-0 lead after a period. First, just 1:58 into the game, the Bruins were the lucky recipient of one of the luckiest and oddest goals in Nationwide Arena history. David Savard blocked a shot by Jake DeBrusk, but it popped into the air, landed on the top of the net behind Bobrovsky, then kicked back into Bobrovsky's shoulder and slid into the net.
Columbus nearly answered less than a minute later but Josh Anderson hit the crossbar on a 2-on-1, plus Tuukka Rask denied back-to-back shots by Cam Atkinson shortly thereafter.
Torey Krug hit the post going the other way for Boston, but the Bruins kept building throughout the period and took a 2-0 lead with 2:33 left in the frame. A deflection went out to Charlie Coyle in the slot, and he spun and fired off Bobrovsky's left pad, where Marcus Johansson was waiting to deposit the rebound.
Bobrovsky made a number of sharp saves in the second period, including a spectacular denial of DeBrusk on a breakaway with his left pad, but finally the dam broke late in the period. First, after a shot by Atkinson on the rush went high off the glass and out of the zone, Boston broke in, and eventually a miscommunication between Seth Jones and Zach Werenski allowed Brad Marchand to score from the doorstep at 4:46 to make it 3-0.
It was a four-goal game just 46 seconds later as Karson Kuhlman fed DeBrusk in alone again, and this time he fired over Bobrovsky's blocker to make it 4-0. Bobrovsky was replaced by Joonas Korpisalo at that point having made 19 saves on 23 shots.
Things didn't get much better as David Pastrnak beat Korpisalo just 34 seconds into the third to make it 5-0, but Columbus finally answered at 5:51 when Bjorkstrand blew a shot past Rask on the power play to keep his goal streak alive.
Charlie McAvoy then took a double minor for high sticking, and Columbus made it a 5-2 game with 10:46 left when Artemi Panarin's cross-ice feed to Duchene allowed him an easy finish past Rask.
But just when it looked like Columbus was gaining momentum, a rough shift in the Jackets' defensive zone ended up in the back of the net when another miscommunication in front allowed Kuhlman to deposit the loose puck behind Korpisalo with 9:32 to go.
By the Numbers
The Blue Jackets now have 248 goals this season, breaking the record of 247 set two years ago. … Columbus had 34 shots on goal, 17 blocked and 14 more missed the net. ... Columbus finished the regular season 22-17-2 at home. … Columbus scored two power-play goals for the first time since Jan. 10 vs. Nashville. ... Panarin extended his franchise record for points in a season to 84. … Bobrovsky had previously been named the NHL's No. 2 star of the month in March after allowing just 14 goals in his last 11 starts. … Five different Bruins had multipoint games including DeBrusk with a 2-1-3 line. ... It was the most goals allowed in a game by the Blue Jackets since a 9-6 loss to Calgary on Dec. 4. ... The sellout was the 14th of the year in Nationwide Arena, the most since the team had 16 in 2003-04.
Columbus made no changes to the lineup from weekend wins at Nashville and Buffalo. Scratches were forwards Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak and Eric Robinson; defensemen McQuaid and Adam Clendening; and goaltenders Keith Kinkaid and Elvis Merzlikins.
The Blue Jackets complete the season with a two-game road trip, visiting the New York Rangers on Friday before the campaign ends Saturday at Ottawa.