BLUE JACKETS 3 | BRUINS 1
Matt Calvert Goal
Matt Calvert Empty-Netter
ANALYSIS: Nothing doing for either side in the second period, and we're still tied 1-1 at TD Garden. The Blue Jackets had the better of play in the second half of the period, and they were working hard to get bodies in front of Tuukka Rask and cause some chaos around the crease. It nearly resulted in a couple of goals, but some near-misses have the score dead even with 20 minutes to play. Jared Boll had the best of the chances with what looked like a wide open net after a net-mouth scramble, but his shot may have deflected off a Bruins defender before catching the high glass. At the other end, another solid period of work for McElhinney, who's been calm and collected so far tonight and done well to manage his rebounds. Shots are 21-17 Boston with what should be an entertaining third period ahead.
ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets are quite fortunate to come out of that period in a 1-1 tie. They were out-shot 13-9 by the Bruins (which isn't awful) but the amount of time they spent in their own zone is alarming. They've had issues on the exit out of their own end, but their power play was effective, going 1-for-2 in the opening period and getting a goal from Ryan Johansen, who extended his franchise record points streak to 13 games with his 17th goal of the season. Curtis McElhinney was excellent in the first period, making 12 saves including a few highlight-reelers, notably a diving glove stop with Boston on the power play in the dying seconds of the period.
Ryan Johansen Goal
UPDATE (4:50 PM): Richards told Bob McElligott that Scott Hartnell will play on a line tonight with Brandon Dubinsky at center and Josh Anderson on right wing. Anderson made his NHL debut last night against the Rangers and, according to the coach, "did not look out of place at all."
The other Columbus lines, per The Dispatch: Calvert-Wennberg-Atkinson, Foligno-Johansen-Morin, Tropp-Letestu-Boll.
No other lineup changes for the Jackets, which means the same defense pairs from last night: Johnson-Savard, Tyutin-Prout, Connauton-Wisniewski.
UPDATE (4:40 PM): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards just met with the media at TD Garden. He announced that Curtis McElhinney will start tonight against the Bruins. McElhinney made 26 saves to beat the Bruins back on Dec. 27 at Nationwide Arena.
MORNING UPDATE: Hello from Beantown, CBJ fans!
The Blue Jackets are in Boston to face the Bruins, looking to snap a four-game losing streak. The Bruins are surging with wins in five straight as they get their season back on track. Their recent play has bumped them into the second wild card spot in the East.
The Jackets are coming off their fourth straight loss, but certainly their best performance over that stretch. They launched 36 shots on goal against the Rangers and dominated possession time for much of the game, but were unfortunate to run into one of the world's better goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist. They get another stiff task today in Boston, with Tuukka Rask likely to get the start for the Bruins.
Here are a few more notes before tonights contest:
- The Blue Jackets did not skate this morning after traveling last night.
- It's another back-to-back for the Jackets, their 11th of 19 this season. They're 2-8 this season in the tail end of back-to-backs, and 1-5 on the road in such situations.
- Ryan Johansen is in the midst of the longest points streak in Blue Jackets history. Johansen has seven goals and 14 points in 12 games. He's also had good numbers in the Jackets' two games against the Bruins, with one goal and three assists.
- Matt Calvert had a strong game last night. It didn't show up on the scoresheet, but Calvert was engaged and according to Todd Richards, he's been coming around for a few games now. "Matt, the last two or three games, his stride has looks better and his skating looks stronger. When he's doing that, he's more effective.," said Richards.
- The Blue Jackets will play three road games this week, tonight in Boston and then in Minnesota and Winnipeg, before the All-Star break next weekend.