Thursday, November 14, 2013
"9 out of 10 points ain't bad,"-The Bruins
After starting off with such a blah result (a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars last Tuesday), the Bruins sure closed their season-long five-game homestand off in style: Milan Lucic scored with 48.6 seconds left in overtime tonight as Boston topped Columbus 3-2 at TD Garden for their fourth straight victory. The B's (12-5-1) have the look of the best team in the Eastern Conference, even if they still trail the Tampa Bay Lightning (who beat Anaheim 5-1).
Columbus (6-10-2) has to be kicking themselves as somehow Chad Johnson (2-1-0, 32 saves) beat Sergei Bobrovsky (28 saves) who won the Vezina Trophy last season but like his team is off to a crappy start to 2013-14. Johnson made his first start as a Bruin in Boston since the B's are in Ottawa tomorrow night. He hadn't played since November 2 so even though he wasn't anything special, he had to be rusty after so much time off from real action.
This is the classic example of a game that you sell to a friend if you are a season-ticket holder. Who wants to see the anonymous Blue Jackets? Especially when Nathan Horton (shoulder) has yet to play a game with his new employer. Columbus actually led 1-0 as Blake Comeau was the recipient of a breakdown in the Bruins' backline. Two guys went after Mark Letestu against the boards (why?) so all he had to do was throw it in front to Comeau for a one-timer that beat Johnson at 12:48 of the first period.
Boston responded with Loui Eriksson tying it at 18:10. Once again, he scored a strange goal (his 3rd of the season) as he stuck his leg out and Zdeno Chara's wrist shot from the point deflected off his skate. Apparently there was no kicking motion since the refs didn't even look at the replay. Haha ok then. Patrice Bergeron had the second assist.
It was a fourth line kind of night and Shawn Thornton scored a pretty goal, sniping a shot just under the bar at 10:09 of the second period. His second goal of the season was assisted by Gregory Campbell and Torey Krug (5-game point streak). Thorny might rarely score a goal but it feels like whenever he does, it's impressive or at least memorable.
This being Chad Johnson we're talking about, he couldn't let Boston have nice things that easily. His biggest mistake of the night was pounced on by the Blue Jackets. He coughed up a juicy rebound right in front and Nick Foligno potted a backhander at 16:34 of the second period.
All I can say is thank god that it didn't go to a shootout. Both teams are playing tomorrow and who wants to see the Blue Jackets for way more time than you are required to? Lucic isn't known as a particularly great two-way player but all the credit goes to him on the game-winner (the first OT goal of his NHL career) as he blocked a shot in Boston's end then had the wheels to get on a breakaway and shoot the puck through Bobrovsky's five-hole.
The Bruins hit the road for three games beginning tomorrow (7:30, NESN) in Ottawa (7-7-4). It is the first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals and I don't have to tell you that Tuukka Rask will be back in net for the B's.