BOSTON - The Blue Jackets came into TD Garden on Monday seeking points more than revenge.
They wound up getting both, after Cam Atkinson took a feed in overtime from Ryan Murray and launched a wrist shot that beat Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with 2:05 left in OT - lifting Columbus to a 5-4 big victory.
"We're a resilient group," said Atkinson, who scored the fifth OT goal of his career. "I don't think we played nearly our best. We found a way to just stick with it. We knew [the Bruins were ] banged up on the other side, but they've been finding ways to win, they're a good team and they know how to win. We just stuck with it and found a way to just chip away ... stick with it and it was a huge two points."
The Blue Jackets (40-28-5) won their eighth straight game, tying the third-longest winning streak in franchise history, and took the three-game season series from the Bruins (45-18-8), who'd beaten Columbus here, 7-2, on Dec. 18.
That was a very different time of the season, though, and a different Blue Jackets team. That group was reeling aand struggling to find its identity amid a sea of inconsistency. The team that skated out for Columbus on Monday was more confident, more resilient and just plain hungrier, with a second straight trip to the postseason still at stake.
That, plus a strong night in net by Joonas Korpisalo, is how the Jackets survived a game they were largely outplayed, fending off wave after wave of Bruins offensive attacks.
"That game belongs to 'Korpi,'" coach John Tortorella said. "He was just ... it could've been 9-4, so he was outstanding, as far as what he's doing now in the situation this team is in, and where he's upped his game."
It was the third straight win for the Jackets' second goalie, who'd dropped his previous three starts in a row and struggled through most of January and February. It was also the fourth overtime win of the season for Korpisalo, who was under seige most of the game.
"I think it's good," Korpisalo said. "You can see the team's battling in front of you and I don't want to let them down. It's good to get some wins. These are huge games for us."
Boone Jenner scored the game's first goal to give Columbus a 1-0 lead early in the first period, but from that point it became a battle to keep up with the Bruins. Boston scored three goals in the second, taking a 3-1 lead on goals by rookie Ryan Donato, Brad Marchand and Riley Nash, but Columbus didn't fold.
A goal by rookie Sonny Milano just 25 seconds after Nash scored made it 3-2 after 40 minutes, which set the stage for a wild third.
"You talk about trying to stop momentum, we had problems with it all night long, quite honestly," Tortorella said. "But when they go 3-1, and basically just totally outplaying us, to get back and at least give us a chance going into the third, that was important."
Thomas Vanek tied it, 3-3, early in the third with his second point of the game. Artemi Panarin then gave the Blue Jackets their second lead, 4-3, with a one-timer off a face-off, but it wasn't enough. Boston tied it, 4-4, on the ensuing shift, with Donato finding David Krejci with a slick backhand feed for the tying goal and his third point in his first NHL game.
The game went to OT, which guaranteed Columbus at least one point before Atkinson provided the second with a wicked wrister.
"I don't want to take anything way from the guys," Tortorella said. "I don't think we played well at all tonight, but they still found a way to score timely goals, make some key plays at key times, but let's face it ... we stole two points tonight."
Here's what we learned: