Skip to main content
game preview

5 Keys: Blue Jackets at Bruins, Game 2

Krejci game-time decision for Boston; Columbus eyes fast start in attempt to even series

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

BLUE JACKETS at BRUINS

8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS

Boston leads best-of-7 series 1-0

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will try to win their fourth consecutive game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Saturday.

The Bruins defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 on Thursday on back-to-back goals by center Charlie Coyle, who scored the game-tying goal at 15:25 of the third period and the winner at 5:15 of overtime.

 

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

 

Coyle has five goals in eight playoff games after scoring two goals in 21 regular season games with the Bruins after they acquired him in a trade with the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 20.

Game 1 was Columbus' first loss in the playoffs after a four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. 

Bruins center David Krejci will be a game-time decision because of an undisclosed injury. He didn't play in overtime of Game 1 but participated in Boston's morning skate Saturday.

Here are 5 keys for Game 2:

 

1. Columbus needs quick start

The Blue Jackets, predictably, had a rough start in Game 1 coming off an eight-day break after eliminating the Lightning. They were slow out of the gate and if not for an A-plus performance from goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, they would have been in a bigger hole than 1-0.

They eventually found their legs and structure to catch up to the Bruins, so they can't have the same excuse of being rusty at the start of Game 2; they'll put themselves in jeopardy of falling behind 2-0 in the series if they are.

 

2. Boston's band back together

The Bruins likely will likely have their top line reunited with David Pastrnak, who had been playing on the second line, alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, arguably the best line in the NHL during the regular season.

Pastrnak had one shot on goal and five total attempts in Game 1 after getting two shots on goal on three attempts in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Pastrnak led Boston in goals (38) and shots on goal (235) during the regular season.

"I find he's a little more hesitant on the power play on the elbow than just ripping it on the net," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We're going to encourage him to keep pounding the puck on net."

 

3. Beating Bob

The Bruins feel in order to score against Bobrovsky, they need to do a better job of getting in his field of vision. They didn't do it enough on the 6-foot-2 goalie in Game 1, a big reason why he was able to make some of his 34 saves look easy.

"Force him to see pucks," Cassidy said. "He's not a huge guy so you might get a few breaks there while he's fighting to find pucks to find goals."

Cassidy also said the Boston players have been told by goalie coach Bob Essensa to shoot high over the pads on lateral or backdoor plays, so look to see if they try to do that more in Game 2.

Video: CBJ@BOS, Gm1: Bobrovsky gets across to rob McAvoy

 

4. Trust your instincts

A few defensive breakdowns resulting from indecisiveness cost the Blue Jackets in Game 1. 

Seth Jones lost coverage on Coyle low in the defensive zone on his game-tying goal and Zach Werenski was beaten by Coyle on his overtime goal because he was caught in between and wound up on his heels with the Bruins center skating past him.

Columbus needs to be aggressive and confident with its decisions instead of hesitant and in-between.

 

5. Anderson's impact

Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson has the skill, size (6-foot-3, 221 pounds) and physical game to be a potential gamebreaker in this series. He wasn't in Game 1, when his only shot attempt missed the net and he was a minus-1 with four hits in 18:07 of ice time.

"He needs to be noticed more," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "Josh has to be a guy that brings attention to himself. That's the best way to describe him. … He's a very important guy in this series and he's one of the guys that needs to be better in Game 2."

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno -- Matt Duchene - Josh Anderson

Alexandre Texier -- 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, Ryan Dzingel, Markus Hannikainen, Vladislav Gavrikov, Lukas Sedlak, Eric Robinson

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

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Danton Heinen

Marcus Johansson -- Charlie Coyle -- Chris Wagner

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, Karson Kuhlman, Steven Kampfer

Injured: Kevan Miller (lower body), John Moore (upper body)

 

Status report

The Blue Jackets held an optional morning skate. … Wennberg is expected to enter the lineup with Dzingel a healthy scratch. … Pastrnak and Heinen flipped from their spots in Game 1.

NHL.com correspondent Matt Kalman contributed to this report

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.