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Bruins Clinch Home Ice in First Round

Boston snaps two-game skid with 6-2 victory over Columbus

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Bruins can breathe a bit easier for the next few days.

Boston cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, which coupled with the Maple Leafs' loss to Carolina, clinched the B's home-ice advantage for the Atlantic Division rivals' first-round playoff series.

Jake DeBrusk potted two goals, Brad Marchand picked up his 100th point of the season, and David Krejci and Torey Krug set career highs in assists with two helpers apiece as the Bruins snapped their brief two-game skid.

The Bruins jumped out to a 5-0 lead on goals from DeBrusk, Marcus Johanssson, Marchand, and David Pastrnak and never looked back.

"It's kind of the team we've been all year," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of the bounce-back win. "We're a good hockey club. We don't usually lose a lot of games in a row and we kind of try to take care of the business at hand and correct the things of why we lost."

Video: Marchand earns 100th point as Bruins defeat Jackets

Here are some other notes and observations from Boston's victory at Nationwide Arena:

Two for One

DeBrusk scored twice, marking his fifth two-goal game of the season and giving him four goals in his last four games and 27 for the year. The winger also picked up an assist on Karson Kuhlman's third-period tally.

The 22-year-old was repaying the favor after Kuhlman delivered a silky feed to DeBrusk on his second of the night, which he finished off by ripping one top corner off a 2-on-1. DeBrusk's first goal came via a fortunate bounce, with the puck ricocheting off the top of the net and then the back of Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

DeBrusk credited the lucky bounce to 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich, as his recent string of scoring on the days he calls into the radio program continued.

"It's a matter of executing at the right times and getting some good looks from my line mates," said DeBrusk. "Scored a [breakway] goal today that was pretty similar to the one that I scored against Detroit. It was a give-and-go, similar finish.

"The first one was Toucher and Rich. Thanks boys. I've been getting some luck and execution at the right times."

Video: BOS@CBJ: DeBrusk scores after odd bounce off net

Kuhl, Calm, and Collected

With Danton Heinen (illness) and Chris Wagner (lower-body) both sitting out a game each this week, Kuhlman has been back alongside DeBrusk and David Krejci on Boston's second line, a spot in which he performed well during his previous call-ups this season.

That success continued on Tuesday night with the 23-year-old picking up a goal and assist, to go along with three shots on net and a plus-3 rating in 14:10 of ice time.

"He is," Cassidy said when asked if Kuhlman is opening some eyes. "I thought he was excellent tonight with his puck plays in the neutral zone, touch plays, threading the needle, being on pucks as a first forechecker. He's got good speed and he's a little bit underrated offensively probably. He's been a good player for us."

Video: BOS@CBJ: Kuhlman slams home loose puck

DeBrusk added that Kuhlman's energy and speed has brought a different element on the trio's right side.

"It's very evident out there, he works really hard," said DeBrusk. "Any time there's a guy that can get to those corners and use that kind of frame that he's got to get to areas, I think it helps our line. It was nice to see him get rewarded tonight and kind of have a pretty complete game from our side."

Cassidy admitted that placing Kuhlman - who has played just nine NHL games - in the top six may elevate expectations, but that the undrafted free agent has acquitted himself well in that role.

"The problem is you bring a young guy up, you don't want to have too high expectations…and then you plant him on the second line," said Cassidy. "I've put the expectations on him because of that. I think it's a good fit there right now."

Video: BOS@CBJ: DeBrusk finishes give-and-go with Kuhlman

Hitting the Mark

Marchand had a goal and assist to reach the 100-point mark, becoming just the 10th Bruin in franchise history to accomplish that feat. Read More: Marchand Reaches 100-Point Plateau

Video: BOS@CBJ: Marchand earns 100th point on Pastrnak goal

On the Board

Johansson, playing his third game since returning from a three-week absence with a lung contusion, notched his first goal as a Bruin. Playing with Wagner and Charlie Coyle, Johansson fired home a rebound off Coyle's spin-around shot from the slot with 2:33 to go in the first to give Boston a 2-0 lead.

Coyle and Wagner put in strong work before the goal and both were credited with assists.

"They were good tonight," said Cassidy. "[Assistant coach Jay Pandolfo] met with them this morning to go over a few offensive zone things…Johansson got rewarded for going to the net, dirty area. We've talked about playing inside a little more. A lot of good responses from them. I thought they had an excellent game.

"Wags was in all alone [on a breakaway]. They were a good line tonight. Wags offers a little different piece for them. A guy that's gonna be straight line, good forechecker, get to the net. So I think that will complement them as well if we stick with that."

Video: BOS@CBJ: Johansson pots first goal as a Bruin

On A High

Krejci and Krug both recorded two assists to set new career highs. Krejci now has 52 on the season, surpassing his previous high of 51 set in 2008-09. Krug is up to 47, breaking his mark of 45 from last season.

Video: Cassidy speaks after Bruins win in Columbus

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