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Post Game: Bruins 3, Blue Jackets 1

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets



The Blue Jackets have not helped themselves much in their last four periods - 16 total penalties in their last two games combined - and it played a big role in a disappointing performance Saturday night in Boston.

Less than 24 hours after a parade to the penalty box let the Edmonton Oilers back into what was a 4-0 rout, the Blue Jackets stubbed their toe early at TD Garden and spotted the Bruins a pair of first-period goals before they could get their feet underneath them. Columbus registered just two shots on goal in the first period, had recorded only nine through 40 minutes, and really struggled to sustain any attack in the Bruins zone at any point in the game.

Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring on a harmless-looking wrist shot through a screen at 9:02 of the first period, and it didn't look like Curtis McElhinney - who made 33 saves and played well in this game - ever saw the puck. The Bruins made it 2-0 on the power play later in the period, as Milan Lucic re-directed a slap shot from Torey Krug and got it under McElhinney's pads at 14:58.

Lucic, who was a very involved character in this game, added his second of the night early in the third period and it was anything but a normal goal. His initial shot was partially blocked high in the slot, and it floated in the air all the way to the Blue Jackets' net, where it dropped in behind McElhinney before Fedor Tyutin could knock it down. The lack of energy put the Blue Jackets in a 3-0 hole entering the final 16-plus minutes of the third period, and it was simply too deep of a hole to dig themselves out of. 

Ryan Johansen snapped in his 10th goal of the season - a power play goal that beat Chad Johnson cleanly over the shoulder - to bring the Blue Jackets within 3-1 at 6:16 of the third period but it was too little, too late for Columbus. 

Down 2-0 entering the third period, the Blue Jackets were managing to hang around despite their nine shots on goal. The second Lucic goal was the big one, turning what could have been a 2-1 game into a comfortable three-goal advantage for the Bruins.

This game was pretty much what you'd expect from Lucic: physical, involved on the forecheck and not making any friends on the opposing team. He scored twice and was part of a spirited scrap with Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout.

The Bruins' top table-setter made it happen again tonight, picking up two assists and showing his nifty playmaking ability.

The rugged veteran blue liner was solid tonight for Boston, and made a pair of key defensive plays that stood out: he broke up a 2-on-1 early in the game and denied a Jack Skille breakaway later in the proceedings. He was part of a stingy Bruins defense that clogged the shooting lanes all night.


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