Nick and Sean tackle a few leftover news items from the last week of the regular season and preview the Eastern Conference matchups in the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
David Pastrnak scored a goal and had an assist in his return to action after missing the last eight games due to injury as the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Pastrnak became the third-fastest Bruin in franchise history to amass 500 points with 239 goals and 261 assists in 508 career games since making his National Hockey League debut in the 2014-15 season after Boston drafted him in the first round (25th overall) in 2014.
Only Bobby Orr (500 points in 396 games) and Ray Bourque (500 points in 484 games) outpaced Pastrnak for the fastest to 500 career points (all with the Bruins).
Meanwhile, Linus Ullmark (24-10-2, 2.52 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in 39 games played) made 30 saves on 31 shots against for a .968 save percentage and the win in his first game back from an undisclosed injury that caused him to miss the last three games.
Rangers goaltender, Igor Shesterkin (36-12-4, 2.03 goals-against average, .936 save percentage in 52 games played), stopped 32 out of 35 shots faced in the loss.
Boston improved to 48-25-5 (101 points) on the season and within a point of the Tampa Bay Lightning for 3rd in the Atlantic Division at the time of this writing.
Despite being 4th in the Atlantic, the B’s hold the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
New York, meanwhile, fell to 51-22-6 (108 points) overall and stuck in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Bruins finished their regular season series against the Rangers and went 1-1-1 across their three matchups.
The B’s went 5-3-0 against the Broadway Blueshirts in 2020-21 and 3-0-0 in 2019-20.
Hampus Lindholm, Pastrnak and Ullmark returned to the lineup for Boston, while Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) remained out against the Rangers on Saturday.
B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, told reporters prior to Saturday afternoon’s, 3-1, win that Pastrnak and Lindholm may not travel to Montréal as the Bruins visit the Canadiens Sunday night.
Zboril, meanwhile, has reportedly begun contract extension negotiations with Boston, according to New England Hockey Journal and NHL.com contributor, Mark Divver.
Jack Ahcan, Jack Studnicka and Troy Grosenick were all reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) prior to Saturday’s matchup against New York (Ahcan and Studnicka were technically reassigned on Thursday and Friday, respectively).
With a trio of players returning to the lineup, Cassidy made changes accordingly– moving Curtis Lazar back to the fourth line as Pastrnak resumed his regular role on the second line right wing.
Meanwhile, Lindholm suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first defensive pairing with Matt Grzelcyk demoted to the second pairing next to Brandon Carlo and Mike Reilly joining Marc McLaughlin as the odd players out as a result of Pastrnak and Lindholm’s return.
Reilly and McLaughlin were joined by Josh Brown and Anton Blidh on Boston’s list of healthy scratches on Saturday, while Lazar skated in his 400th career NHL game.
Julien Gauthier cut a rut to the penalty box for tripping Lindholm at 7:47 of the first period, but the Bruins failed to capitalize on the resulting power play opportunity.
A few minutes later, Jake DeBrusk caught Adam Fox with a high stick and presented the Rangers with their first power play of the afternoon at 10:01, but New York couldn’t score on the ensuing skater advantage.
Boston got another chance on the power play at 12:26 of the first period when the Rangers were caught with too many skaters on the ice.
Once more, however, the B’s let another power play go by the wayside.
Late in the period Brad Marchand rushed the puck up the ice to McAvoy as Boston’s best defender pinched in from the point to the slot prior to sliding a pass through the slot to Pastrnak (39) for a one-timer goal on Shesterkin’s blocker side.
McAvoy (45) and Marchand (43) tallied the assists as the Bruins took a, 1-0, lead at 19:25.
Heading into the first intermission, Boston had the advantage on the scoreboard, despite trailing New York in shots on goal, 12-10.
The B’s led in blocked shots (9-5), giveaways (5-2) and faceoff win percentage (71-29), while the Rangers led in takeaways (3-2) and hits (11-7).
New York was 0-for-1 and Boston was 0-for-2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
Taylor Hall (18) received a breakaway pass from Erik Haula and sent a shot over the glove early in the second period to extend Boston’s lead to two-goals.
Haula (26) and Pastrnak (34) notched the assists as the Bruins took a, 2-0, lead at 1:07 of the second period– courtesy of Hall’s goal and Pastrnak’s 500th career NHL point in the form of a secondary assist on the goal.
Midway through the middle frame, McAvoy rocked Fox on a clean open ice hit in Boston’s own end– drawing the ire of Dryden Hunt and resulting in a bit of a fracas between McAvoy and Hunt that resulted in a pair of roughing infractions and 4-on-4 action at 9:27.
The Bruins soon had an abbreviated 4-on-3 power play after Jacob Trouba tripped Pastrnak at 10:21 of the second period, but once again the B’s couldn’t muster anything on the power play– falling to 0-for-32 on their last 32 skater advantages as a result.
Through 40 minutes of action, the Bruins led, 2-0, on the scoreboard and held a, 28-22, advantage in shots on goal, including an, 18-10, advantage in the second period alone.
Boston led in blocked shots (11-9), giveaways (9-8) and faceoff win% (68-32) after two periods, while New York held the advantage in takeaways (8-3) and hits (24-20).
The Rangers were 0-for-1 and the Bruins were 0-for-3 on the power play heading into the final frame.
Ullmark sent the puck over the glass and out of play to kick off the third period with an automatic infraction at 1:42.
Craig Smith served the minor and the Rangers took full advantage of the ensuing power play.
Carlo lost his stick and was aiming to retrieve it while the puck was still in New York’s attacking zone– rendering the Bruins defender out of position as Mika Zibanejad stood on the doorstep and awaited a pass through the slot.
Chris Kreider setup Zibanejad (29) for a one-timer goal as Ullmark made a desperation effort that came up a little bit short as Zibanejad’s power-play goal brought the Rangers to within one and put them on the scoreboard.
Kreider (24) and Alexis Lafrenière (12) had the assists on the goal and New York trailed, 2-1, at 2:58 of the third period.
Carlo also managed to hook Lafrenière before losing his stick– resulting in another power play for the Rangers at 2:58, though this time Boston was able to kill off the infraction.
Midway through the third period, Connor Clifton dumped the puck off of Charlie Coyle (inadvertently) and into the attacking zone, where Smith retrieved the rubber biscuit by the goal lime and zipped a pass back to Trent Frederic (7) for the catch and release shot in the slot off of Shesterkin and into the twine.
Smith (18) and Coyle (27) picked up the assists as the Bruins extended their lead back to two-goals, 3-1, at 9:37.
With 3:49 remaining in the action, Rangers head coach, Gerard Gallant, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker before using his timeout 46 seconds later to draw up a plan to rally his skaters for a pair of goals to tie the game at the very least.
Things did not go to plan.
New York iced the puck with 40.1 seconds remaining after Marchand rang the outside of the iron on an empty net and Shesterkin went back into the crease.
He wasn’t able to make his way back to the bench as Boston sustained enough offensive pressure to keep the Rangers from breaking through the neutral zone as time ticked down and the final horn eventually sounded.
The Bruins had won, 3-1, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 35-31, despite being outshot by the Rangers, 9-7, in the third period alone.
Boston exited their own building leading in blocked shots (17-11) and faceoff win% (62-38), while New York left TD Garden leading in hits (34-24).
Both teams managed to amass nine giveaways each, while the Rangers went 1-for-3 on the power play and the B’s finished the afternoon 0-for-3 on the skater advantage.
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Boston passed the 100-point plateau in the standings.
The Bruins have 25 seasons with 100 points or more in franchise history, which is also an NHL record.
Having completed their final matinée game of the regular season, the B’s went 11-2-0 in 13 afternoon matchups in 2021-22, while improving to 35-9-2 (17-5-1 at home) when scoring first, 27-5-1 (14-3-0 at home) when leading after one and 30-1-3 (14-1-1 at home) when leading after two periods this season.
New York fell to 18-17-4 (11-11-0 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 11-12-4 (6-9-0 on the road) when trailing after the first period and 4-17-2 (1-12-0 on the road) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.
The Bruins will pay a visit to the Montréal Canadiens on Sunday before hosting the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, prior to their regular season series finale on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.
Sean returns to the program to talk about the Boston Bruins, a plethora of injuries around the league, Doug Wilson, the Western Conference wild card race, Mike Bossy and more including an all-new segment where Sean flips the script and asks Nick stuff.
The Boston Bruins are officially heading to the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs after securing a, 2-1, win against the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Erik Haula’s first period goal proved to be the game-winner, while Jeremy Swayman (21-12-3, 2.34 goals-against average, .917 save percentage in 37 games played) had a quality start with 23 saves in 24 shots faced en route to the victory for Boston.
Pittsburgh netminder, Casey DeSmith (8-5-5, 2.89 goals-against average, .907 save percentage in 22 games played) turned aside 27 out of 29 shots against in the loss.
The Penguins were without their usual starting goaltender, Tristan Jarry– who is out week-to-week with a lower body injury– and center, Evgeni Malkin, who is serving a four-game suspension for cross-checking Nashville Predators defender, Mark Borowiecki, in last Sunday’s, 3-2, overtime win at PPG Paints Arena.
Pittsburgh fell to 43-23-11 (97 points) on the season, but the Pens are still in command of 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division as they are currently five points ahead of the Washington Capitals (41-23-10, 92 points).
The Penguins clinched a playoff spot after Thursday night’s, 6-3, win against the New York Islanders.
Boston improved to 46-24-5 (97 points) overall and clinched their sixth-consecutive Stanley Cup playoff berth (75th overall in 98 seasons) as a result of Saturday’s win.
The Bruins are in command of the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and trail the Toronto Maple Leafs (48-20-6, 102 points) by five points for home ice in at least the 2022 First Round, as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning (45-21-8, 98 points) by one point for a divisional playoff spot.
Boston has played in 75 games this season, while Toronto and Tampa have each played in 74 games at the time of this writing (both teams are in action Saturday night as the Leafs visit the Ottawa Senators, while the Lightning host the Winnipeg Jets).
The B’s improved to 1-1-0 against Pittsburgh this season with one game remaining in their regular season series Thursday night (April 21st) at PPG Paints Arena.
Boston went 5-3-0 against the Penguins last season and 2-1-0 in 2019-20.
The Bruins were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), David Pastrnak (undisclosed), Hampus Lindholm (lower body) and Linus Ullmark (upper body) on Saturday, while Brandon Carlo returned to action from an undisclosed injury sustained on April 12th against St. Louis.
Bruce Cassidy made a few changes to his lineup as a result.
The only chance among forwards involved replacing Tomáš Nosek with Trent Frederic on the third line left wing. Frederic had been a healthy scratch in Thursday night’s, 3-2, loss to the Senators.
Nosek served as a healthy scratch Saturday as a result.
On defense, Matt Grzelcyk suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first pairing, while Mike Reilly and Carlo rounded out the top-four defenders.
Derek Forbort participated in his 400th career NHL game on the third pairing alongside Connor Clifton.
With Ullmark out of the lineup due to an injury, Troy Grosenick was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Friday to serve as Swayman’s backup against Pittsburgh.
Cassidy told reporters prior to the game that Ullmark will be out until at least Monday, while Pastrnak and Lindholm skated on their own prior to the matchup with the Penguins (not in warmup).
Jack Studnicka, Josh Brown, Jack Ahcan and Anton Blidh joined Nosek on the list of healthy scratches for the B’s on Saturday.
Less than a minute into the opening frame, Craig Smith sent a shot off of DeSmith’s right shoulder that rebounded to the slot where Frederic (6) beat John Marino to the loose puck and collected the garbage while crashing the net to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead 49 seconds into the afternoon.
Smith (17) had the only assist on Frederic’s goal.
Boston extended their lead to two-goals when Haula (15) sent a pass to the slot intended for Taylor Hall, but the puck deflected off of Marcus Pettersson’s skates and into the twine instead.
Reilly (12) had the only assist on Haula’s goal and the B’s led, 2-0, at 2:01 of the first period.
Late in the opening frame, Mike Matheson cut a rut to the penalty box for holding at 15:30, but Boston wasn’t able to convert on the ensuing power play and fell to 0-for-24 (0-for-19 without Pastrnak) on the skater advantage in their last six games.
Heading into the first intermission, the Bruins led, 2-0, on the scoreboard and, 11-6, in shots on goal.
Boston also held the advantage in blocked shots (4-1), hits (7-5) and faceoff win percentage (52-48), while Pittsburgh led in takeaways (1-0) after the first period.
The two clubs had three giveaways each entering the middle frame, while the Bruins were 0-for-1 on the power play and the Penguins had yet to see time on the skater advantage Saturday.
Danton Heinen (17) continued his revenge tour against Boston with a shot that fluttered and floated its way over Swayman’s glove side and into the back of the net– cutting the Bruins’ lead in half, 2-1, in the process.
Teddy Blueger (16) and Brock McGinn (8) tallied the assists on Heinen’s goal at 5:38 of the second period as Heinen set a new career-high in goals in 71 games– surpassing his previous career-best (16 goals in 77 games) set in 2017-18 with Boston.
Minutes later, Nick Foligno hooked Jake Guentzel and cut a rut to the sin bin at 9:33, but the Penguins were unable to convert on the ensuing power play.
Pittsburgh’s second chance on the skater advantage went by the wayside when McAvoy tripped Sidney Crosby at 11:44 as both teams struggled to get things going on the power play.
Through 40 minutes of action, the B’s held a, 2-1, lead on the scoreboard despite being outshot by the Pens, 9-5, in the second period alone.
Boston held the advantage in total shots on goal, however, 16-15, and led in blocked shots (8-3), while Pittsburgh led in takeaways (2-1), giveaways (5-3), hits (9-8) and faceoff win% (53-47).
The Penguins were 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Bruins were 0-for-1 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.
Crosby slashed Frederic at 4:52 of the third period and presented Boston with their final power play opportunity of the night, but the B’s failed to convert on the skater advantage– falling to 0-for-25 on the power play in their last six games as a result.
A few minutes later, Reilly tripped Crosby at 7:09 of the third period and the Penguins went on the power play.
Pittsburgh failed to get anything going on the advantage, however.
With 2:06 remaining in the action, Penguins head coach, Mike Sullivan, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.
Despite using their timeout after a stoppage with 1:14 left in the game, the Pens couldn’t force overtime as the seconds ticked down and Curtis Lazar went for a casual skate down the length of the ice killing time and keeping the puck out of his own zone so Boston could get one last line change on the ice.
At the final horn, the Bruins had won, 2-1, and finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal, 29-24, including a, 13-9, advantage in the third period alone.
The B’s left their own ice leading in blocked shots (10-6), while the Penguins left TD Garden leading in giveaways (8-3), hits (12-9) and faceoff win% (55-45).
Pittsburgh went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Boston went 0-for-2 on the skater advantage Saturday afternoon.
For the 14th time in 16 years, the Bruins clinched a playoff berth, while the Penguins fell to 2-5-1 in their last eight games.
The B’s improved to 34-9-2 (16-5-1 at home) when scoring first, 26-5-1 (13-3-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 29-1-3 (13-1-1 at home) when leading after the second period this season.
Pittsburgh fell to 11-18-8 (6-9-4 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 5-10-5 (3-6-3 on the road) when trailing after one and 5-19-3 (2-9-2 on the road) when trailing after two periods in 2021-22.
The Bruins hit the road for a pair of games in St. Louis and Pittsburgh next Tuesday (April 19th) and Thursday (April 21st), respectively, before returning home to host the New York Rangers next Saturday (April 23rd) on ABC.
Boston heads to Montréal on April 24th before hosting Florida (April 26th) and Buffalo (April 28th) prior to their regular season finale in Toronto on April 29th.
Checking in with our resident Buffalo Sabres fan, Colby Kephart, about his expectations (or lack thereof) for Owen Power, what other undrafted college players might go pro, what’s considered good goaltending these days, as well as an Eastern Conference rundown and Colby’s “Off the Cuff” debut.
Don’t look now, Pittsburgh Penguins fans, but the Washington Capitals keep closing in on a Metropolitan Division playoff spot after their, 4-2, win against the Boston Bruins Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena.
By the time the Penguins were taking on the Nashville Predators Sunday afternoon, Washington pulled to within two points behind Pittsburgh for 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
Meanwhile, Lars Eller’s lucky deflection off of a Bruins forward’s stick and into the twine proved to be the game-winning goal in the third period of the Capitals’ victory.
Vitek Vanecek (18-11-5, 2.58 goals-against average, .912 save percentage in 37 games played) made 28 saves on 30 shots against in the win for Washington on Sunday.
Boston goaltender, Linus Ullmark (23-10-2, 2.59 goals-against average, .912 save percentage in 37 games played) stopped 29 out of 32 shots faced in the loss.
The Bruins fell to 45-22-5 (95 points) on the season and remain in command of 3rd place in the Atlantic Division, while the Capitals improved to 40-22-10 (90 points) overall and sit 4th in the Metropolitan Division.
Washington holds onto the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference currently and will have two games in-hand on the Penguins after Pittsburgh’s game against Nashville.
The New York Islanders (75 points) and Columbus Blue Jackets (74 points) would need to win at least nine games in addition to a miracle in which either the Caps or Pens lose for the rest of the regular season to make the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Capitals are currently on a three-game winning streak.
The B’s, meanwhile, finished their regular season series 2-1-0 against Washington after going 4-2-2 against the Capitals in 2020-21 (and 1-1-1 in 2019-20).
Jakub Zboril (right ACL), David Pastrnak (undisclosed) and Hampus Lindholm (lower body) remained out of Boston’s lineup on Sunday afternoon, though both Pastrnak and Lindholm have resumed skating.
Bruce Cassidy made a few changes to the defensive core of his lineup against the Capitals.
First, he promoted Derek Forbort to the first pairing alongside Charlie McAvoy while relegating Mike Reilly to the left side of the third pairing.
Cassidy also scratched Connor Clifton and inserted Josh Brown in his place next to Reilly on the third pairing.
Jack Studnicka and Anton Blidh joined Clifton in the press box at Capital One Arena as Boston’s healthy scratches in Washington, D.C.
Midway through the opening frame, Trent Frederic thought he had the game’s first goal, but the on-ice officials waved it off immediately and ruled it no good as a result of a distinct kicking motion.
Upon an official review, the call on the ice was confirmed– no goal– and the score remained tied, 0-0, as Frederic had just enough of a follow through motion to indicate intent behind the kick rather than a deflection while coming to a glide.
A few minutes later, Nic Dowd caught Brown with a high stick and presented the Bruins with their first power play of the afternoon at 11:47 of the first period.
Boston couldn’t convert on the skater advantage, however.
Late in the period, the B’s had another chance on the power play go unconverted when Dmitry Orlov boarded Marc McLaughlin at 18:13.
Entering the first intermission, the teams remained tied, 0-0, despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 8-7.
Boston also held the advantage in blocked shots (6-4) and faceoff win percentage (69-31), while Washington led in takeaways (3-2), giveaways (4-3) and hits (22-15) after 20 minutes of action.
The Capitals had yet to see any time on the power play, while the Bruins were 0/2 on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.
John Carlson (14) gave Washington a, 1-0, lead at 4:11 of the second period when he blasted a shot from the point past Ullmark’s glove side while the B’s netminder was tied up with Evgeny Kuznetsov on the doorstep.
Conor Sheary (20) had the only assist on Carlson’s goal as the Caps jumped out first on the scoreboard early in the second period.
Less than a minute later, Eller cut a rut to the penalty box for hooking McAvoy at 4:46, but once more the Bruins’ power play went by the wayside as they couldn’t convert on the skater advantage.
Boston did, however, catch Washington in the vulnerable minute after special teams play when Nick Foligno received a pass from Tomáš Nosek in the attacking zone and drove to the net before wrapping the puck around Vanecek as the Capitals goaltender came out to play an aggressive angle.
Foligno snuck a pass behind Vanecek through the crease where Curtis Lazar (8) slipped the puck into the open twine to tie the game, 1-1, at 7:55 of the second period.
Foligno (10) had the only assist on the goal.
One minute later, the Bruins scored again to take their first and only lead of the afternoon, 2-1, when Erik Haula (14) received a pass from McAvoy and entered the zone before letting go of an old-fashioned slap shot off the post and into the net on the glove side.
McAvoy (44) had the only assist on Haula’s goal at 8:55 and Boston surged in momentum.
Moments later, the Bruins tweeted that Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) would not return to the afternoon’s action after sustaining an injury in the first period.
Then Tom Wilson (23) tied things up, 2-2, after slipping a rebound through Ullmark’s five-hole from the doorstep after Ullmark made the initial save on a shot by Eller.
Eller (15) and Anthony Mantha (8) had the assists on Wilson’s goal and the Capitals evened things up at 14:50 of the second period by a stroke of luck– being in the right place at the right time– a trend that would continue for the rest of the afternoon.
After two periods, the score was tied, 2-2, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 24-18, including a, 16-11, advantage in the second period alone.
The Bruins led in blocked shots (17-6) and faceoff win% (58-42), while Washington held the advantage in takeaways (8-3), giveaways (6-4) and hits (35-25).
Boston was 0/3 on the power play, while the Capitals still had yet to see any action on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.
Trevor van Riemsdyk tripped Lazar at 2:55 of the third period, but Boston’s power play fell to 6-for-46 on their last 46 power plays as the B’s couldn’t muster anything past Washington’s penalty kill.
Almost midway through the third period, Eller (10) sent a shot off of Haula’s stick as the puck redirected and caught a piece of Ullmark’s right shoulder before hitting the twine under the bar to give the Capitals a, 3-2, lead at 7:18 of the third period.
Nick Jensen (14) had the only assist on Eller’s goal.
Midway through the third, Taylor Hall tripped T.J. Oshie and presented the Caps with their first power play of the afternoon at 10:43 of the third period.
Boston’s penalty kill stood tall, however, as Washington wasn’t able to score a power play goal while Hall was in the box– nor were they able to capitalize on Frederic’s hooking infraction at 15:18.
With 1:54 remaining in regulation, Cassidy pulled his netminder for an extra attacker.
After a stoppage with 80 seconds left in the game, Cassidy used his timeout for one last potential rally.
Instead, in the dying seconds of the afternoon, Alex Ovechkin (45) whiffed on his first chance, but buried his second shot on the empty net after the two teams went end-to-end.
Kuznetsov (47) and Carlson (49) tallied the assists on Ovechkin’s empty netter at 19:58 and the Capitals led, 4-2.
At the final horn, Washington had won, 4-2, and finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal, 33-30, including a, 15-6, advantage in the third period alone.
The Caps left their own ice with the advantage in giveaways (6-5) and hits (45-39), while the Bruins left Capital One Arena leading in blocked shots (25-9) and faceoff win% (61-39).
Washington finished 0/2 on the power play, while Boston went 0/4 on the skater advantage in Sunday’s loss.
The B’s are now 15-6-2 (9-3-1 on the road) when tied after the first period, 12-14-3 (5-7-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal and 13-5-0 (6-4-0 on the road) when tied after the second period this season.
The Capitals improved to 11-7-4 (3-4-1 at home) when tied after one, 30-10-5 (14-5-2 at home) when scoring first and 13-2-2 (5-1-2 at home) when through two periods in 2021-22.
The Bruins went 2-2-0 on their four-game road trip and return to TD Garden for a three-game homestand beginning Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues before the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins visit Boston on Thursday and Saturday (April 16th), respectively.
Jake DeBrusk continued his hot streak Monday night at Nationwide Arena as the Boston Bruins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in overtime thanks to a game-winner from No. 74 in black and gold himself– which also happened to be his second goal of the game.
DeBrusk has six goals in his last five games as the Bruins are now 7-1-0 in their last eight games, while Linus Ullmark (22-9-2, 2.63 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in 35 games played) made 20 saves on 22 shots against in the win for Boston.
Columbus goaltender, Elvis Merzlikins (22-18-6, 3.40 goals-against average, .903 save percentage in 48 games played), stopped 34 out of 37 shots faced in the overtime loss.
The B’s improved to 44-20-5 (93 points) overall and moved into 3rd place in the Atlantic Division as the Bruins hold the regulation wins tiebreaker with the Tampa Bay Lightning (Boston has 35 regulation wins to Tampa’s 33).
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, fell to 32-32-6 (70 points) on the season and remain in 6th place in the Metropolitan Division.
Boston swept Columbus in their regular season series 3-0-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Jakub Zboril (right ACL) was the only Bruin out due to injury on Monday, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made one change to his lineup– scratching Derek Forbort and replacing him with Josh Brown (while switching Mike Reilly back to his regular role as a left shot defender to Brown’s right shot on the third pairing, O.K. so technically two changes).
Forbort joined Jack Studnicka, Marc McLaughlin, Connor Clifton and Anton Blidh on Boston’s list of healthy scratches in Columbus.
Blue Jackets head coach, Brad Larsen, was back from the league’s COVID-19 protocol and returned to his regular job behind the bench after assistant coach, Pascal Vincent, filled in for Larsen.
Emil Bemström (5) sped through the neutral zone on a breakout, got around Brandon Carlo and shot the puck past Ullmark high on the short side– giving Columbus the first lead of the night, 1-0, at 4:31 of the first period.
Jakub Voracek (45) had the only assist on Bemström’s goal.
A minute later, Carson Meyer tripped up Charlie McAvoy for his first career minor penalty in his first career National Hockey League game at 5:32.
Boston did not convert on the ensuing power play, however, and cut their time on the advantage short as a result of McAvoy’s ensuing holding infraction at 6:13.
After 1:19 of 4-on-4 action, the Blue Jackets had an abbreviated power play go by the wayside.
Late in the period, Voracek and Trent Frederic received roughing minors at 14:45 and yielded some more 4-on-4 action that only lasted for a couple of seconds on the ensuing faceoff as Bruins forward, Brad Marchand, interfered with Justin Danforth at 14:47.
Columbus had a rare 4-on-3 power play as a result for 1:58.
The Blue Jackets did not score on the skater advantage with all that extra open ice.
Shortly after he was freed from the penalty box, Marchand made a big hit along the wall as he checked Andrew Peeke hard into the boards– leading with his shoulder first, despite a violent end result in which Peeke was left visibly dazed after laying face down on the ice.
Meanwhile, instead of stopping the play (as Columbus did not have possession, nor did the on-ice officials determine that there was the potential for a severe enough or significant injury to have just occurred), McAvoy retrieved a loose puck and setup DeBrusk on a breakaway before DeBrusk (20) shot the puck off of Merzlikins’ blocker and into the twine– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
McAvoy (40) had the only assist on DeBrusk’s goal at 18:32 of the first period while the ensuing celebration was subdued while the Blue Jackets’ athletic trainer tended to Peeke at the other end of the rink.
DeBrusk, meanwhile, reached the 20-goal plateau for the second time in his career (five seasons) and first time since he had 27 goals in 68 games in 2018-19.
The 25-year-old forward also extended his goal scoring streak to five games as a result and would finish the night with six goals in the last five games (another first for DeBrusk since Feb. 2019– a five-game goal scoring streak, that is).
Voracek had a few choice words for the on-ice officials after allowing play to continue while Peeke laid face down on the ice and ended up receiving a misconduct as a result at 18:32.
Less than a minute later, Nick Foligno tripped Oliver Bjorkstrand and cut a rut to the sin bin at 19:24 as a result.
Columbus didn’t convert on the ensuing power play, however.
As the first period came to a close, Bjorkstrand and Patrice Bergeron exchanged pleasantries– rendering roughing infractions for each of them at 20:00 of the opening frame.
Entering the first intermission, the Bruins and Blue Jackets were tied, 1-1, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 10-9.
The B’s also held the advantage in blocked shots (3-2), takeaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (70-30), while Columbus led in giveaways (2-1) and hits (9-8).
The Blue Jackets went 0/3 on the power play, while Boston was 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.
Vladislav Gavrikov caught Taylor Hall with a high stick and drew blood at 2:25 of the second period– resulting in a four-minute double minor infraction as a result.
Boston’s extended power play was cut short, however, as Hampus Lindholm was penalized for interference at 4:00 of the second period.
After 2:00 of 4-on-4 action, the Bruins would go back on the power play for 25 seconds, but couldn’t convert on the abbreviated skater advantage.
Shortly thereafter, Frederic kept the puck in the attacking zone as the Blue Jackets failed to clear it and Boston worked the rubber biscuit around the horn before Charlie Coyle spun away from his opponent and sent a pass to Craig Smith (16) for a wrist shot goal from the high slot under Merzlikins’ blocker.
Coyle (25) and McAvoy (41) tallied the assists on Smith’s goal as the Bruins took a, 2-1, lead at 7:52 of the second period.
After a stoppage midway through the middle frame, Peeke tried getting a few extra jabs at Marchand while DeBrusk stepped in as a scrum encircled the two initial skaters exchanging pleasantries.
While DeBrusk should have gone to the box with Peeke for roughing, the on-ice officials instead assessed minors to Peeke and Marchand at 13:53– yielding more 4-on-4 action for what would be a pair of minutes until Sean Kuraly hooked David Pastrnak at 14:22.
Boston’s abbreviated 4-on-3 power play went by without issue for Columbus’ penalty kill, however.
Jake Christiansen then checked Frederic along the boards right around where Marchand and Peeke collided in the first period and Frederic skated off the ice and headed down the tunnel.
The Bruins later tweeted during the final frame of regulation that Frederic would not return to the night’s action with an upper body injury.
Boston struggled to get out of their own zone in the dying minute of the second period as Columbus miraculously kept the puck from exiting the attacking zone at the blue line with a quick reach into the sky to bat the puck back down to the ice.
After sending it around the zone, Voracek fed Zach Werenski through the slot as Werenski (11) pinched in from the point and one-timed the puck past Ullmark’s glove side– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.
Voracek (46) and Patrik Laine (27) had the assists while Cassidy used his coach’s challenge to review if the Blue Jackets had technically entered the zone offside as a result of their effort to keep the puck in the offensive zone seconds prior.
The ensuing video review was inconclusive, which mean that the call on the ice would stand.
Columbus had tied the game, 2-2, at 19:44 of the second period and the B’s were assessed a bench minor for delay of game as Smith skated over to the box to serve the infraction.
Through 40 minutes of play, the score was tied, 2-2, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 21-14, including an, 11-5, advantage in the second period alone.
The Bruins also led in blocked shots (7-6), takeaways (4-2) and faceoff win% (63-37), while the Blue Jackets led in hits (18-10).
Both teams had two giveaways each and were 0/4 on the power play heading into the final frame of regulation.
Peeke shoved Marchand to the ice with an open palm while the Boston forward entered the attacking zone and presented the Bruins with an early power play at 3:52 of the third period.
Boston’s time on the skater advantage was cut short again, however, as the night’s trend continued with Bergeron hooking Gustav Nyquist to prevent a shorthanded scoring opportunity at 4:39 of the third period.
As a result, the two teams were back to 4-on-4 play, while Pastrnak shortly made an exit from the game with what might have been a core injury after he got tangled up with Gavrikov and fell awkwardly about midway through the final frame of regulation.
After 60 minutes, the Bruins and Blue Jackets remained tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard, despite Boston holding a, 34-22, advantage in shots on goal– including a, 13-8, advantage in the third period alone.
Columbus attained the advantage in takeaways (7-4) and hits (24-15), while the B’s led in blocked shots (12-7), giveaways (3-2) and faceoff win% (64-37).
As no penalties were called in overtime, both teams finished the night 0/5 on the power play on Monday.
Cassidy started Bergeron, Marchand and McAvoy in overtime, while Larsen countered with Voracek, Laine and Werenski.
It wasn’t long before the two teams made one change and Lindholm made a timely interception before giving the puck to DeBrusk (21) for a pump fake catch and release game-winning overtime goal on the blocker side at 1:03 of the extra frame.
Lindholm (21) had the only assist on DeBrusk’s second goal of the game as a result and the Bruins won, 3-2.
Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal, 37-22– including a, 3-0, advantage in overtime alone.
The Bruins left Nationwide Arena leading in blocked shots (12-7) and faceoff win% (64-36), while the Blue Jackets exited their own building with the advantage in giveaways (4-3) and hits (24-15).
With the win, the B’s improved to 17-3-1 in their last 21 games– including a 7-1-0 record in their last eight games.
Boston is now 7-3 in overtime (9-5 past regulation overall) this season, while Columbus fell to 6-4 in the extra frame (10-6 past regulation overall).
The Bruins also improved to 12-13-3 (5-6-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 14-5-2 (8-2-1 on the road) when tied after the first period and 12-4-0 (5-3-0 on the road) when tied after two periods this season.
The Blue Jackets fell to 17-10-2 (11-6-2 at home) when scoring first, 17-11-3 (10-6-3 at home) when tied after one and 6-6-2 (4-2-2 at home) when tied after two periods in 2021-22.
Boston continues their four-game road trip (1-0-0) Tuesday night in Detroit before heading to Tampa on Friday and Washington D.C. on Sunday.
The Bruins return to TD Garden for a three-game homestand starting April 12th.
Charlie Coyle, Curtis Lazar, Anton Blidh, Tomáš Nosek, Brandon Carlo and Josh Brown failed to record a point while 12 other members of the Boston Bruins had at least one mention on the scoresheet in an, 8-1, thrashing of the New Jersey Devils Thursday night at TD Garden.
Patrice Bergeron (1-2–3) and David Pastrnak (0-3–3) each had three points, while Linus Ullmark (21-9-2, 2.65 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in 34 games played) made 25 saves on 26 shots faced for a .962 save percentage in the win for Boston.
New Jersey goaltender, Nico Daws (8-9-0, 3.27 goals-against average, .894 save percentage in 19 games played) made 15 saves on 20 shots against in 29:01 time on ice in the loss before he was replaced by Jon Gillies (3-10-0, 3.88 goals-against average, .882 save percentage in 17 games played) made 17 saves on 20 shots (30:59 time on ice) in relief of Daws for no decision.
The Bruins improved to 42-20-5 (89 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division– two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The B’s also hold the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference entering April.
The Devils, meanwhile, fell to 24-38-5 (53 points) on the season and fell to 8th place in the Metropolitan Division, trailing the Philadelphia Flyers by virtue of a tiebreaker in which the Flyers have 17 regulation wins to New Jersey’s 16.
Boston swept their regular season series against the Devils 3-0-0 in 2021-22 after going 3-3-2 against New Jersey in last season’s condensed 56-game schedule (the Bruins went 2-0-1 against New Jersey in 2019-20).
The B’s outscored the Devils, 18-6, over the course of their three matchups this season.
Bruce Cassidy was without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Craig Smith (illness) and Nick Foligno (lower body) on Thursday.
As a result, Marc McLaughlin made his National Hockey League debut in place of Smith on the third line, while Foligno was ruled “day-to-day” and replaced by Blidh on the fourth line.
Cassidy also switched out Derek Forbot and Connor Clifton on the third defensive pairing with Mike Reilly and Brown– the latter of which made his Bruins debut on Thursday since being acquired at the trade deadline on March 21st.
Jack Studnicka, Forbort and Clifton served as Boston’s trio of healthy scratches against the Devils.
Prior to puck drop, the Bruins honored recently retired goaltender, Tuukka Rask, with a video and a ceremonial puck drop at center ice with his wife and three daughters.
Rask is the winningest goaltender in franchise history, amassing 308 wins in 564 games played (also a franchise record).
He ranks second in shutouts (52) with the club, second in career goals-against average (2.28) and is tied for first in career save percentage (.921) all in a Bruins uniform over 15 seasons.
Rask also appeared in 104 Stanley Cup Playoff games and won 57 of them (both franchise records)— winning the Stanley Cup as the backup in 2011, and appearing in two more Finals in 2013 and 2019.
Less than a minute into the opening frame, Matt Grzelcyk (4) wristed a shot from the point into the back of the twine over Daws’ blocker side– giving the Bruins a, 1-0, lead at 57 seconds of the first period.
The two teams got a few extra minutes between Grzelcyk’s unassisted goal and the next faceoff, however, as the TD Garden game clock malfunctioned and left both clubs skating around the ice in a free skate prior to resuming play.
Less than a couple of minutes later, Brown made his first impression with the Boston crowd by squaring off with Mason Geertsen and delivering a few heavy punches back and forth before both players were escorted to their respective penalty box with five-minute majors for fighting at 2:56.
Brown would later leave the game after the second period with an upper body injury, but didn’t look out of place in a Bruins uniform in his debut.
Shortly thereafter, Miles Wood checked Charlie McAvoy hard behind the Boston net and elicited a response from Reilly as the two players wrestled and tumbled to the ice at 4:16 of the first period.
Reilly received two roughing minors– four minutes in penalties in total– to Wood’s sole roughing infraction, rending the night’s first power play to New Jersey as a result.
The Devils did not score on the ensuing skater advantage however.
Hampus Lindholm was penalized for holding at 8:49 and New Jersey went back on the power play, but once again failed to convert on the advantage.
Instead, however, the Devils caught Boston in the vulnerable minute after special teams action as the Bruins were trapped in their own zone.
Nico Hischier cut behind the net, stopped on a dime and turned back the other way before one-handing it to Jack Hughes while falling to his knees after almost losing possession in the trapezoid.
Hughes (25) promptly buried the rubber biscuit high on the short side as Ullmark was a few inches too far off the post.
Hischier (30) and Damon Severson (28) notched the assists as New Jersey tied the game, 1-1, at 11:02 of the first period.
Roughly five minutes later, Jake DeBrusk (18) collected a rebound, deked and pulled the puck to his forehand around Daws’ right pad and into the back of the net for his third goal in as many games after Bergeron initially sent a shot with purpose off of Daws’ blocker back into the high slot.
Bergeron (31) and Lindholm (19) tallied the assists as the Bruins took a, 2-1, lead at 16:09.
Heading into the first intermission, Boston was ahead on the scoreboard and led, 12-7, in shots on goal.
The B’s also held the advantage in blocked shots (5-1), takeaways (4-2), hits (9-8) and faceoff win percentage (67-33).
The Devils led in giveaways (7-1) and were o/2 on the power play, while the Bruins had yet to see time on the skater advantage entering the middle frame.
Pastrnak broke up a pass while Erik Haula intercepted the puck and worked it back to Pastrnak, who wrapped around the goal frame as Haula (10) pounced on the rebound and scored over the glove side to extend Boston’s lead to two-goals at 2:22 of the second period.
Pastrnak (31) had the only assist on the goal as the Bruins led, 3-1.
Shortly thereafter, P.K. Subban yanked Blidh to the ice and was assessed a holding infraction at 2:44, but Boston didn’t convert on the resulting power play.
Nevertheless, the Bruins had all the momentum as they continued to pile up pucks behind Daws and his replacement in Gillies.
First, DeBrusk retrieved his own bad angle shot that went into the far corner before working the puck around the horn back to DeBrusk, who by now had made his way back to about where he sent an initial attempt from.
DeBrusk tried again and hit some dead wood before Brad Marchand (29) gathered the puck and wired it into the twine to give Boston a, 4-1, lead on the scoreboard at 6:33 of the second period.
DeBrusk (12) and Grzelcyk (18) tallied the assists on Marchand’s first goal of the game.
Jesper Boqvist then used his hand on a faceoff shortly thereafter– receiving a faceoff violation infraction in the process– and presented the Bruins with another power play at 8:30 of the middle frame.
It only took the B’s about 30 seconds to convert on the skater advantage as Pastrnak sent a shot on goal that was inadvertently redirected by Bergeron (18) with his skate through Daws’ five-hole– giving Boston a four-goal lead at 9:01 of the second period as a result.
Pastrnak (32) and McAvoy (37) notched the assists on Bergeron’s power-play goal as Lindy Ruff swapped his goaltenders with the Devils trailing, 5-1.
Almost 90 seconds later, DeBrusk checked Ty Smith and left the New Jersey defender catching his breath for a few seconds while Bergeron won the loose puck back to Reilly at the point.
Reilly forked it to Marchand (30) for a one-timer goal– giving him 30 goals on the season in the process for the fifth time in his career (13 seasons) as Boston scored a pair of goals in a span of 1:33 to lead, 6-1.
Reilly (11) and Bergeron (32) tallied the assists on Marchand’s second goal of the game at 10:34 of the second period and the Bruins weren’t done scoring.
Trent Frederic entered the attacking zone on a 2-on-1 with McLaughlin (1) and flipped the puck to No. 26 in black and gold for a one-timer goal on the high glove side– beating Gillies for his first career NHL goal in his first game and extending Boston’s lead to six goals at 12:04.
Frederic (10) had the only assist as Coyle retrieved the puck for McLaughlin’s safekeeping after the game and the B’s led, 7-1, after scoring a trio of goals in a span of 3:03 in the middle frame.
McLaughlin, meanwhile, became the fifth Massachusetts-born NHLer to score in his debut in Bruins history, joining Ryan Donato (March 19, 2018), Frank Vatrano (Nov. 7, 2015), Shawn Bates (Oct. 2, 1997) and Hago Harrington (Dec. 29, 1925) in doing so.
Late in the period, Taylor Hall (16) added one more on a one-timed redirection after Pastrnak and Hall kept it in the attacking zone on a Devils turnover and had a brief 2-on-1 as they made their way to the slot.
Pastrnak (33) had the only assist on Hall’s goal and the Bruins had an, 8-1, lead at 16:12 of the second period– amassing the most goals they’ve scored in a single game this season and reaching eight goals in a game for the first time since Nov. 26, 2019, when Boston beat Montréal, 8-1, at Bell Centre– in part due to a hat trick from Pastrnak that night.
The Bruins also recorded their first instance of scoring six goals in one period since Nov. 3, 1983, when they had six goals in the second period of a, 9-5, victory against the St. Louis Blues at Boston Garden.
Through 40 minutes, the Bruins led, 8-1, on the scoreboard and dominated shots on goal, 28-17, including a, 16-10, advantage in the second period alone.
Boston also led in blocked shots (9-3), takeaways (7-4), hits (16-15) and faceoff win% (64-36), while New Jersey led in giveaways (10-5) after two periods.
The Devils remained 0/2 on the power play, while the B’s were 1/2 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.
Haula hooked Hughes at 1:10 of the third period, but the Devils couldn’t get another shot past Ullmark while the Bruins did their job on the penalty kill in front of their netminder.
Jonas Siegenthaler sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play for an automatic infraction at 7:26, but Boston wasn’t able to convert on the resulting power play.
Late in the game, Coyle and Geertsen exchanged pleasantries and received ten-minute misconducts with a ticket to their respective showers early for the night at 17:03 of the third period.
At the sound of the final horn, the Bruins had won, 8-1, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 40-26, including a, 12-9, advantage in the third period alone.
Boston also left their own ice leading in hits (23-20) and faceoff win% (60-40), while New Jersey led in blocked shots (13-6) and giveaways (15-10).
The Devils finished 0/3 on the power play, while the B’s went 1/3 on the skater advantage in Thursday’s effort– improving to a 15-3-1 record in their last 19 games, as well as 8-0-1 in games after allowing five or more goals in the previous game.
Boston also improved to 31-7-2 (14-4-1 at home) when scoring first, 25-2-1 (12-1-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 28-1-3 (12-1-1 at home) when leading after the second period this season.
New Jersey fell to 9-23-2 (3-15-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 5-18-2 (1-11-0 on the road) when trailing after one period and 3-31-2 (2-20-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods in 2021-22.
The Bruins went 10-3-1 in the month of March and begin the month of April by hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday before hitting the road for the next four games starting next Monday (April 4th) in Columbus, next Tuesday (April 5th) in Detroit, then Tampa (April 8th) and Washington, D.C. (April 10th).
Four different goal scorers for each team kept things close Saturday night at Nationwide Arena, while David Pastrnak scored the only goal in the, 5-4, shootout win for the Boston Bruins against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Jeremy Swayman (15-7-3, 2.03 goals-against average, .927 save percentage in 26 games played) made 20 saves on 24 shots against in the win for Boston, while spoiling the night’s festivities after the Blue Jackets held a jersey retirement ceremony for Rick Nash prior to the game.
Columbus goaltender, Elvis Merzlikins (19-14-3, 3.42 goals-against average, .903 save percentage in 36 games played), stopped 28 out of 32 shots faced in the shootout loss.
The Bruins improved to 34-18-4 (72 points) on the season, while remaining in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division, as well as the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Blue Jackets fell to 28-25-2 (58 points) overall and remained 5th in the Metropolitan Division.
Saturday night marked the first time the two teams met in the regular season since Jan. 14, 2020, before the pandemic shortened the 2019-20 regular season and led to temporary divisional realignment for a condensed 56-game regular season schedule in 2020-21.
Columbus won, 3-0, at Nationwide Arena in their last game against Boston prior to Saturday’s, 5-4, shootout loss.
Curtis Lazar returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with an upper body injury.
As a result, Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made one change to his lineup from Thursday night’s, 5-2, victory in Las Vegas to Saturday night’s action in Columbus.
Lazar returned to his usual role on the fourth line right wing, while Jesper Frödén joined Anton Blidh and Jack Achan in the press box as Boston’s trio of healthy scratches against the Blue Jackets.
Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Urho Vaakanainen (undisclosed) remained out due to injury, though Vaakanainen has resumed skating back in Boston.
Prior to the game Saturday night, the Blue Jackets retired Nash’s No. 61– marking the first time in franchise history that the club retired a players’ jersey number.
Nash was drafted by Columbus with the 1st overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and spent the first nine seasons of his career in a Blue Jackets uniform before he was traded to the New York Rangers on July 23, 2012.
He left Columbus as the franchise leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547).
After parts of six seasons in New York, he was traded to Boston ahead of the 2018 trade deadline, where he finished the season and playoffs despite missing some time that March with what ultimately became a career-ending concussion and ensuing post-concussion symptoms since then.
In 1,060 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Rangers and Bruins, Nash amassed 437-368–805 totals, appeared in 89 career Stanley Cup Playoff games (18-28–46 career playoff totals)– including the 2014 Stanley Cup Final– and shared Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winning honors with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk in the 2003-04 season as the league’s leader in goals scored with 41.
He formally announced his retirement on Jan. 11, 2019, and was named Director of Player Development for the Blue Jackets in June 2021.
A franchise record 19,434 fans were in attendance for Nash’s Jersey Retirement Night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus as announced by the team on Saturday.
Midway through the opening frame, Brad Marchand spun and threw the puck to the slot where Jake DeBrusk (15) deflected the rubber biscuit past Merzlikins to give Boston a, 1-0, lead at 10:39 of the first period.
Marchand (32) and Charlie McAvoy (28) tallied the assists as the Bruins recorded the first goal of the game.
The B’s didn’t hold the lead for too long, however, as the Blue Jackets roared back with a goal of their own– tying the game, 1-1, at 16:57, courtesy of Gustav Nyquist’s (14), cool, calm and collected reception of a drop pass from Boone Jenner and shot over Swayman’s left shoulder while Boston’s defenders were split like the Red Sea.
Jenner (21) and Patrik Laine (19) notched the assists on Nyquist’s goal as Columbus surged in momentum.
A couple minutes later, Vladislav Gavrikov (3) was in the right place in the right time to bury a loose puck as Swayman couldn’t get a paddle on it in desperation– giving the Blue Jackets their first lead of the night, 2-1, in the process at 19:00 of the first period.
Gavrikov’s goal was unassisted as Columbus recorded a pair of goals in a span of 2:03.
Entering the first intermission, the Blue Jackets carried a, 2-1, lead into the dressing room, despite being outshot by the Bruins, 12-6, in the first period.
Columbus held the advantage in faceoff win percentage, 64-36, while neither team had seen any action on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.
Marchand took a hit in the neutral zone while Erik Haula (8) scooped up the puck and rushed into the attacking zone before wiring shot through Merzlikins’ five-hole– tying the game, 2-2, in the process at 1:51 of the second period.
Marchand (33) had the only assist on Haula’s goal in the process.
Less than a couple minutes later, Dean Kukan cut a rut to the penalty box for holding and presented Boston with the first power play of the night at 3:26 of the second period.
The Bruins’ power play went by the wayside, however, as the Blue Jackets made the kill and went on their first power play shortly thereafter as Craig Smith tripped up former Bruin, Sean Kuraly, at 5:33.
Columbus didn’t convert on their first skater advantage, but the Blue Jackets got another crack at special teams play when Charlie Coyle slashed Oliver Bjorkstrand at 13:13 of the second period.
About a minute later, Zach Werenski (9) pinched in from the point at the top of the faceoff circle and sent a shot inadvertently off of Bruins defender, Charlie McAvoy’s knee and over Swayman’s glove side to give Columbus a, 3-2, lead at 14:28.
Jakub Voracek (39) and Bjorkstrand (20) had the assists on Werenski’s power-play goal and the Blue Jackets took a, 3-2, lead at 14:28 of the second period.
Through 40 minutes of action, Columbus led, 3-2, on the scoreboard despite trailing in shots on goal, 19-14. The Blue Jackets, however, held the advantage in shots on net in the middle frame alone, 8-7, and controlled faceoff win% (58-42).
Boston was 0/1 on the power play, while Columbus was 1/2 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame of regulation.
Smith (10) buried a one-timer off of Merzlikins’ blocker and into the twine while crashing the net– tying the game, 3-3, at 4:40 of the third period in the process.
Connor Clifton (2) and Nick Foligno (8) tallied the assists as the latter sent a pass to the former prior to Clifton setting up Smith for the goal– marking four goals in his last two games and nine points (four goals, five assists) in Smith’s last 10 games.
Late in the period, Bjorkstrand caught Pastrnak with a high stick at 14:23 of the third period, yielding another power play to Boston in the process.
It didn’t take the Bruins long to go ahead, 4-3, on the scoreboard as Patrice Bergeron (16) nudged a goal on the forehand as the puck sat in the crease after ringing the iron twice and Taylor Hall flubbed an attempt while Merzlikins was sprawled out in desperation.
Hall (29) and Pastrnak (26) had the assists on Bergeron’s power-play goal at 14:58 of the third period.
With 1:18 remaining in the action, Brad Larsen pulled his netminder for an extra attacker.
Foligno hooked Nyuquist at 19:29 and yielded another power play to the Blue Jackets as a result.
Larsen used the extra few seconds before the ensuing faceoff on the skater advantage to rally his skaters with 30.7 seconds remaining in the action.
Columbus worked the puck around the attacking zone before Voracek (3) winded up on a half speed slap shot and scored under the blocker– clipping Swayman’s jersey in the process and tying the game, 4-4, with 2.8 seconds remaining in regulation.
Laine (20) and Kuraly (13) had the assists on Voracek’s power-play goal at 19:57 as the Blue Jackets forced overtime despite trailing Boston in shots on goal, 31-23, including a, 12-9, advantage for the Bruins in the third period alone.
As there were no penalties called in overtime, Columbus finished the night 2/3 on the power play while Boston went 0/2 on the skater advantage.
Neither team scored in overtime as both squads recorded one shot on goal each in the extra frame.
The Bruins finished the night leading in shots on goal, 32-24, as well as in blocked shots (16-12), while the Blue Jackets wrapped up 65 minutes of action leading in hits (28-20) and faceoff win% (51-49).
Both teams had two giveaways aside.
Boston shot first in the shootout as Coyle waltzed into the zone from the right side before cutting right at Merzlikins and being denied by a left pad save.
Laine countered for Columbus with a medium speed effort and a pump fake before pulling the puck to his backhand, but Swayman made the save.
DeBrusk entered with speed before trying an offspeed shot that Merzlikins cast aside with his blocker.
Larsen sent out Nyquist to try to get things going as his second shooter, but despite cutting in from wide left to the middle of the ice, Swayman made a routine save on Nyquist’s five-hole shot attempt.
Finally, Pastrnak skated in wide left before cutting to the middle with speed and coming to a stop prior to elevating the puck into the upper-90 on Merzlikins’ glove side– giving Boston a, 1-0, advantage in the third round of the shootout.
Voracek had to score on the following attempt or the Bruins would win the game.
The Blue Jackets forward carried speed towards the net before Swayman made a blocker save to seal the deal on the shootout victory as the B’s were awarded the shootout goal in the final score, 5-4, Saturday night at Nationwide Arena– securing 10 out of 12 possible points in their six-game road trip in the process.
Boston improved to 2-2 in shootouts this season, while Columbus fell to 3-2 in the best-of-three skills competition.
The Bruins also improved to 24-7-1 (14-3-1 on the road) when scoring first, 5-11-2 (1-5-1 on the road) when trailing after one and 4-14-2 (1-6-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods this season.
The Blue Jackets dropped to 14-17-2 (7-6-2 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 10-4-1 (4-1-1 at home) when leading after the first period and 15-4-2 (7-2-2 at home) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.
The Bruins went 5-1-0 on their six-game road trip through the Pacific Division and Columbus and will return home to begin a three-game homestand on Monday.
Boston will host Los Angeles (March 7th), Chicago (March 10th) and Arizona (March 12th) before hitting the road again on March 15th.