Skip to main content
game preview

5 Keys: Bruins at Blue Jackets, Game 3

Boston needs Pastrnak to produce; Columbus seeks discipline in offensive zone

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

BRUINS at BLUE JACKETS

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS

Best-of-7 series tied 1-1

 

The Columbus Blue Jackets will play a home game in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in their history when they face the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday.

The Blue Jackets are 4-8 all time in the playoffs at home, including 2-0 this season, with wins in Games 3 and 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round to finish off their sweep.

Center Matt Duchene's power-play goal in the second overtime of Game 2 at TD Garden on Saturday was the difference in Columbus' 3-2 series-evening win after center Charlie Coyle scored the overtime winner to give the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1.

Here are 5 keys for Game 3:

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blue Jackets series coverage]

 

1. Hungry for Pasta

The Bruins went into Game 2 looking for more shot volume from forward David Pastrnak to help him break out of his scoring slump. He scored at 2:01 into the second period when the puck went into the net off his skate for his first goal since he scored two in Game 4 in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Three of his other four shots in Game 2 were uncontested looks from the outside that were easy saves for Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Pastrnak had a chance from between the hash marks in the third period but the shot was deflected and swatted away by Bobrovsky.

Boston needs a more dangerous Pastrnak in Game 3 and beyond.

 

2. Bruins need special effort

Part of Pastrnak's problems are stemming from the lack of chances the Bruins' top power-play unit has been generating. The top unit has no goals and three shots on goal, one each from Pastrnak, center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Torey Krug, on eight power-play opportunities in the series. 

Boston's power-play goal in Game 1 came from the second unit, with defenseman Matt Grzelcyk getting the goal and defenseman Charlie McAvoy the primary assist. 

"We need to force less plays, so more high-percentage passes," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We have plays that group has run and run them well. We've just got to get back to that and take the shot that is given, recover the puck and work off that shot."

 

3. Blue Jackets in search of discipline …

Six of Boston's eight power plays in the series have come from offensive zone penalties committed by the Blue Jackets. There were two in Game 1 and four in Game 2, with three assessed to forward Josh Anderson, including a double-minor for high-sticking.

"Playing with fire," Columbus coach John Tortorella said.

 

4. … and 5-on-5 pressure

The Blue Jackets were able to win Game 2 with two power-play goals and another playing 4-on-4, but the lack of 5-on-5 production is also an indication of what was lacking in their game.

Finding a way to sustain more offensive zone time in 5-on-5 situations will be important because the Blue Jackets can't rely on their power play continuing to click at 38.9 percent or better the rest of the series. 

 

5. Bruins' penalty-killing structure

When the Blue Jackets are successful on the power play they are moving the puck through the neutral zone quickly, sometimes with a 'D' to 'D' pass, tic-tac-toeing it around the offensive zone with crisp cross-ice passes that get the penalty killers out of position.

It happened on Duchene's winning goal in Game 2, when Cam Atkinson found the seam through the middle of the ice to set up Artemi Panarin for a one-timer, something the Bruins must have a better answer for in Game 3.

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Danton Heinen

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Karson Kuhlman

Marcus Johansson -- Charlie Coyle -- David Pastrnak

Joakim Nordstrom -- Sean Kuraly -- Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: David Backes, Steven Kampfer, Chris Wagner, John Moore

Injured: Kevan Miller (lower body)

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno -- Matt Duchene -- Josh Anderson

Ryan Dzingel -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Brandon Dubinsky -- Boone Jenner -- Riley Nash

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Dean Kukan -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Adam Clendening

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Andrew Peeke, Markus Hannikainen, Vladislav Gavrikov, Lukas Sedlak, Eric Robinson, Alexandre Texier

Injured: Ryan Murray (upper body), Adam McQuaid (upper body), Markus Nutivaara (upper body)

 

Status report

Kuhlman, who did not dress the first two games of the series, replaces Wagner. … Heinen will move up to the second line and Pastrnak will drop to the third. … Dzingel, who has no points and is plus-3 in five playoff games, may be back in for Texier after being replaced by Wennberg in Game 2.

---

Listen: New episode of NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.