Columbus -- In overtime Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 in front of 17,376 at Columbus' Nationwide Arena.
Both the Bruins and the Blue Jackets came to play on the night following the NHL's holiday break, and with four goals scored in just the first period, both goalies surely knew they would have to be ready to work extremely hard in the second and third periods to keep their clubs in the game.
In the end, eight goals would be scored in regulation, but the most important one would be scored in OT.
Boston received an early goal from Brad Boyes at 6:39 (his 8th, from Andrew Alberts and Patrice Bergeron
) and then Wayne Primeau scored (his 6th, from Shean Donovan and Mark Mowers) at 15:16.
Columbus countered with timely markers from Jason Chimera (12:14) and the always-dangerous Russian superstar Sergei Fedorov (a shorthanded goal at 13:23), and the two teams went to their dressing rooms tied 2-2.
B's stalwart goalie Tim Thomas
, named the NHL's first star of last week, ended the initial period with nine important saves through 20-minutes.
Only three goals were netted in the second period, but the offensive action remained fast and furious.
Boston took an early 4-2 lead when Stanislav Chistov scored his 3rd of the season at 7:49 (from Brad Stuart and Mark Mowers), and then Bergeron, the B's assistant captain, scored his 12th of the year on the power play (from Glen Murray and Zdeno Chara
Columbus rebounded with a goal from David Vyborny at 17:29 to make the score 4-3.
Thomas, solid as usual, made 15 saves through two periods, while his opposite number, Blue Jacket netminder Fredrik Norrena, made 18 through 40-minutes.
Strangely enough, after seven goals in 2/3 of a game, the third period turned into a hard-checking goaltending battle in the last 20-minutes.
Thomas, the B's last line of defense, was very busy in the third stanza as the Blue Jackets swarmed the Black & Gold goal. Norrena was no slouch either, and stopped a point blank breakaway chance by Marco Sturm with 5:18 remaining in the period.
Fedorov took advantage of a 5-on-3 advantage (6-on-3 with the Columbus goalie Norrena on the bench) and punched the puck by Thomas with 23-seconds remaining in the game.
With the momentum decidedly in favor of the home team and the Blue Jackets crowd in a frenzy, the OT was a fait accompli
Taking advantage of a mistimed Boston line change, Vyborny scored his second of the game and ninth of the season at 3:06 of the overtime session -- it was a breakaway goal with no Boston defenders between the Columbus forward and the net.
Boston next plays on Friday night, December 29th versus the surging Chicago Blackhawks. It is an 8:30 start on NESN and WBZ Newsradio.