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Game Day Central: Blue Jackets at Bruins

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

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CLOSE CALL: Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray saved a goal for his team tonight, making an alert play to sweep the puck out of the crease after a shot by Boston's Reilly Smith squeezed through Bobrovsky.

Watch the video replay of Foligno goal, courtesy of FOX Sports Ohio.

Great effort by proud papa Nick Foligno to get the equalizer for Columbus. Listen to the call by clicking HERE.

Another solid road period for the Blue Jackets, who got a late goal from Nick Foligno to pull even at 2-2 through 40 minutes at the TD Garden. Shots favor Boston by a 23-20 margin but the Blue Jackets had the better of the play after Boston took the lead. Some line changes for Todd Richards, too; Foligno moved up to play with Anisimov and Gaborik, while RJ Umberger skated the bulk of the second period with Michael Chaput and Jared Boll. Sergei Bobrovsky has done a nice job between the pipes sfor Columbus, and made a handful of key stops in the middle frame to keep them in the game. Also: a good job by the Jackets to withstand a furious push by the Bruins in the second period and emerge in a tie game. It's up for the taking in the third period...should be a good one.

Well, things definitely escalated quickly at TD Garden after a pretty tame 10-minute stretch to open the game. Blake Comeau got things started for the Jackets, who played a tidy first period and didn't give the Bruins a lot of room to make plays or counter-attack through the neutral zone. Mark Letestu made the goal happen by out-hustling a Bruins defender and negated an icing call, and made a sweet drop pass into the slot. Comeau, just off the bench, was in the right place at the right time to snap it past Chad Johnson and give the Jackets a 1-0 lead. The Bruins answered in the final minutes of the period, and it was a simply play by Zdeno Chara to get the puck through. Loui Eriksson got a piece of the shot on the way in, and Bobrovsky didn't have much of a chance to make a save. That's where we stand through 20 minutes.

Here's the video of Comeau's first-period goal.

After a great pass by Mark Letestu, Comeau cashes in and gives the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. Listen to the call HERE.

UPDATE (2:00 PM): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards addresses the media prior to tonight's game in Boston.

UPDATE (1:50 PM):
Cam Atkinson, who scored a lot goals for the BC Eagles not far from TD Garden, talks about simplifying his game and getting the Jackets back on track.

UPDATE (1:40 PM):
Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski talks with Bob McElligott about bouncing back tonight against the Bruins.

UPDATE (1:25 PM):
Here are the Jackets' projected lines AND defense pairs for tonight's game in Boston.

Dubinsky - Johansen - Atkinson
Umberger - Anisimov - Gaborik
MacKenzie - Letestu - Comeau
Foligno - Chaput - Boll

Murray - Wisniewski
Tyutin - Johnson
Nikitin - Prout


The Blue Jackets and Bruins don't exactly have a storied rivalry between them, but they've played some entertaining, memorable and downright crazy games against each other. This one comes to mind for many reasons, but mostly, for quite possibly the worst line change you'll ever see.

UPDATE (12:55 PM):
According to Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, Nick Foligno is in tonight's lineup and will start the game on the fourth line with Jared Boll and Michael Chaput. Sean Collins is a healthy scratch. Assuming other combinations remain the same, here's what the Jackets forward lines should look like...

Dubinsky - Johansen - Atkinson
Umberger - Anisimov - Gaborik
MacKenzie - Letestu - Comeau
Foligno - Chaput - Boll

UPDATE (12:10 PM):
While we're not entirely sure of the line combinations for tonight's game, we can tell you that Nick Foligno will play tonight in Boston. Sean Collins is likely to be a healthy scratch up front. When we have the combinations, we'll post them here at Game Day Central.

Here are the official NHL game notes for tonight's game. You can access them by clicking HERE.

UPDATE (11:50 AM):
Johnson, who came up through the Rangers organization before joining Phoenix and then on to the Bruins, holds a 1-1-0 record this season with a 2.53 goals against average. He has never faced the Blue Jackets in his NHL career.

UPDATE (11:45 AM):
According to Jeff Rimer, tonight's goaltending matchup at TD Garden will be Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Chad Johnson.

UPDATE (11:40 AM):
Sure sounds like Nick Foligno will play tonight in Boston.

UPDATE (11:30 AM):
Here's YOUR chance to win some signed #CBJ merch...we want to hear your key to tonight's game. Take more shots? Score more goals than the Bruins? Sound off - tag your "key to the game" with #CBJSocial to make sure you're entered to win some cool stuff.

UPDATE (11:00 AM):
Chad Johnson was the first goalie off the ice during the Bruins' morning skate. He gets the start between the pipes tonight against the Blue Jackets, who are expected to go with Sergei Bobrovsky...but we'll just wait and see for certain after their skate.

UPDATE (10:45 AM):
Bob McElligott is all over today's morning skate. What can you expect from Bobby Mac today? Here's a preview...

UPDATE (10:30 AM): The Bruins are on the ice for their pre-game skate at TD Garden. According to's Caryn Switaj, all Bruins are present and accounted for except defenseman Adam McQuaid (a former Blue Jackets property). McQuaid is not expected to play tonight against Columbus.

The Blue Jackets are scheduled for an 11:30AM morning skate at the TD Garden in Boston on Thursday. Rob Mixer of and the rest of our crew will have you covered with the latest: lineup changes, forward lines/defense pairs, starting goalie info & everything else to get you prepped for the game.

All indications suggest that Nick Foligno will rejoin the Blue Jackets' lineup on Thursday night against the Boston Bruins, the first game he's played since Nov. 2. He has met the team in Boston, and if he draws in, the Blue Jackets will have a lineup decision to make at forward - but that also depends on the status of Derek MacKenzie, who missed a chunk of Tuesday's game with a lower body injury.

If MacKenzie cannot play, Foligno is likely to take his place. If they can both play, it's possible that either Michael Chaput or Sean Collins would be scratched, though both played very well in the Jackets' OT loss to the Capitals. On defense, it remains to be seen whether Todd Richards rolls with the same six defensemen that he used against Washington; the decision has largely hinged between David Savard or Dalton Prout pairing with Nikita Nikitin

Sergei Bobrovsky is likely to get the start for Columbus, while the Bruins may opt to split goaltending duties as they're also starting a back-to-back on Thursday. If Tuukka Rask is rested for Friday's divisional game against Ottawa, the Bruins could start Chad Johnson against the Blue Jackets. 

For many teams in the NHL, the Boston Bruins are one of the strongest tests they'll face.

The Bruins are a physical, energetic and occasionally downright angry team that plays a brand of hockey which challenges opponents to rise to the occasion. They have big, strong forwards who can put the puck in the net and a bruising group of defensemen that can make a difference at both ends of the rink. 

Entering their second meeting of the season with the Bruins, the Blue Jackets have a pretty good idea of what to expect. In the first game between the two clubs (Oct. 12 at Nationwide Arena), Columbus played a tight-checking game and had a lead for the first 36 minutes of the contest. Chris Kelly's shorthanded goal - a long-range slap shot that surprised Bobrovsky - tied the game late in the second period and the Bruins rode that momentum into the locker room, and it carried over to a dominant third period.

And while it hasn't been smooth sailing for the Bruins since that game, they've answered a 1-3-1 stretch with three straight wins and a 3-0-1 mark on their current home stand that ends with Thursday's game against Columbus. Their most recent game was an impressive 3-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, a game that will be remembered for Steven Stamkos' broken leg that rocked the hockey world.

It was a strong showing against a Lightning club that's been playing very well lately, and the Blue Jackets are in for another battle just as they had on Tuesday in Washington. One thing they must do better? Managing the puck late in games, especially when they have a lead; the Blue Jackets held a 3-2 lead in the final minutes of regulation but saw two points quickly become one when Alex Ovechkin scored to win the game in overtime.

But it wasn't a complete wash for Columbus, which played well for most of the game and did a lot of the things it set out to do: play physical against the Capitals' top players, get a lead, and remain disciplined as to not put Washington's league-best power play on the job. For the most part, that was the case, but a smattering of defensive breakdowns allowed the Capitals to play the part of the opportunists and escape with a victory.

Following Thursday's game, the Blue Jackets will fly home to Columbus to face the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night at Nationwide Arena - and then the fun begins. Beginning with a Sunday matinee in Ottawa, the Blue Jackets embark on a five-game, nine-day trip through Canada that takes them from Ontario to British Columbia and back to Ontario just before American Thanksgiving.


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