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5 Keys: Blue Jackets at Bruins, Game 5

Columbus must maintain composure; Boston needs top line to produce again

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer


7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS

Best-of-7 series tied 2-2

The Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets will each try to take the series lead and get within one win of reaching the Eastern Conference Final when they play Game 5 of the second round at TD Garden on Saturday.

The Bruins evened the series 2-2 with a 4-1 win at Nationwide Arena on Thursday behind two power-play goals from center Patrice Bergeron, a goal and an assist from forward David Pastrnak, a goal from center Sean Kuraly and 39 saves from goalie Tuukka Rask.


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


Columbus won the previous two games, including 3-2 in double overtime in Game 2 a week ago, the last time they played in Boston.

The Carolina Hurricanes await the winner of this series after advancing to the conference final with a four-game sweep of the New York Islanders.

Here are 5 keys to Game 5:


1. Bobrovsky vs. Rask

Rask and Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky have each been terrific. 

Rask has two wins in the series with a 1.80 goals-against average and .942 save percentage (eight goals on 137 shots). Bobrovsky also has two wins with a 2.23 GAA and .934 save percentage.

The difference in Game 4 was Bobrovsky's slight struggles early in the game, when Pastrnak's one-timer snuck behind him and crawled over the goal line at 3:33 and Bergeron's first goal, a wrist shot from the top of the right circle, hit his glove and went in at 7:18.

Rask stopped Columbus center Boone Jenner's shorthanded penalty shot at 6:52.

It's unlikely either goalie will crack in Game 5, but if one gives even an inch it will be the difference in what is expected to again be a tight, low-scoring affair; there hasn't been more than five goals scored in any of the four games.


2. Blue Jackets' discipline

Boston's discipline was a topic after Game 4 because Columbus was hot on the power play, going a combined 3-for-7 in Games 2 and 3. The script has flipped to the Blue Jackets' discipline after Boston went 2-for-6 on the power play in Game 4.

"We let our emotions get the best of us last game," Columbus forward Cam Atkinson said. "We took a lot of dumb penalties. They're going to try to get in our heads but we need to keep our composure."


3. Jenner on the PK

If the Blue Jackets have to kill penalties, at least they have confidence they might still be able to generate offense. Jenner was a shorthanded scoring chance machine in Game 4. 

Four of his six shots on goal came on the penalty kill, including his penalty shot. He was generating chances off the rush by creating turnovers in the neutral zone.

"He is just a good penalty killer as far as understanding what's expected and the tendencies of the power play," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "He takes instruction very well especially with special teams. He reads the ice well. He's one of our most willing guys as far as blocking shots. I've never seen a guy get so many chances in one game, and plus the penalty shot."


4. 5-on-5 offense

The series has been dominated by goaltending and special teams play, which puts more of an emphasis on the need to break out in 5-on-5 situations.

Boston has a 6-4 advantage in 5-on-5 goals in the series. The New York Islanders (two) are the only team that has scored fewer 5-on-5 goals than Columbus and Boston in the second round.

"We definitely need our 5-on-5 to pick it up a bit," Atkinson said.


5. Bruins' first line

Boston's top line of Bergeron, Pastrnak and Brad Marchand were a key going into Game 4 because they were struggling and needed to get going. The only point between them in the first three games was a goal by Pastrnak that deflected in the net off his skate.

They're a key now because they delivered in Game 4 and the Blue Jackets have to hope they can still keep them in check.

The Blue Jackets' biggest disappointment in Game 4 was giving the Bruins' top forwards life by presenting them six power-play opportunities to get going. 

"Hopefully that fuels them to get going and you keep it up," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "It's not like we have to have them score to win, but it's the old thing, when your best players are your best players, we're generally going to be a tougher team to beat."


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno -- Matt Duchene -- Cam Atkinson

Alexandre Texier -- Alexander Wennberg -- Ryan Dzingel

Brandon Dubinsky -- Boone Jenner -- Josh Anderson

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Dean Kukan -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Adam Clendening

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Keith Kinkaid, Andrew Peeke, Markus Hannikainen, Vladislav Gavrikov, Lukas Sedlak, Eric Robinson

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


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- David Backes

Marcus Johansson -- Charlie Coyle -- Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom -- Sean Kuraly -- Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Zane McIntyre, Chris Wagner, Karson Kuhlman, Steven Kampfer

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


Status report

Nash, who missed Game 4, did not skate Saturday. … Acciari didn't skate Saturday and will be a game-time decision; Wagner would replace him if he can't play. correspondent Matt Kalman contributed to this report

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