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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Did You Really Think That the Bruins Would Lose at TD Garden During Military Appreciation Night?


I think that we all could get used to this. For the second game in a row, Boston (8-6) notched an easy two points at home. This evening was Military Appreciation Night at TD Garden-always one of the best events of the entire season-so it was great to see the Bruins play well in front of so many deserving veterans and their wonderful families. Columbus (6-4-2) actually scored first but the B's rattled off the next five goals (including 4 in the first period in a span of 4:01) to roll to a 5-2 win.

Coming off a tough 3-2 loss at Montreal (12-1-1) on Tuesday, I'm going to pretend that nothing else notable happened that night in a certain presidential election, Tuukka Rask (15 saves, 8-1-0) was back in goal and life was good for the Black and Gold. The same couldn't be said for poor Sergei Bobrovsky (5 saves) who gave up four goals before he was pulled just 12:48 into the proceedings. The Blue Jackets surprisingly boast the top-ranked power play in the NHL and No. 2 penalty kill unit so the Bruins were happy to keep it mostly to a 5-on-5 contest with only three penalties called on the home team all game.

Alexander Wennberg stole the puck along the boards in Boston's end and fed Nick Foligno for Columbus' opening tally at 2:29. Foligno's goal was his fifth of the season and Wennberg is now the NHL leader with 13 assists (who knew?). Torey Krug finally broke his dry spell with his first goal of the season at 8:47 which tied things at one. His shot from the point deflected off Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray and it was assisted by the Davids (Krejci and Backes). 1:08 after that, Matt Beleskey also got off the goal-scoring schneid as his linemate Austin Czarnik capitalized on a Columbus turnover and fed him for a slap shot that Bobrovsky could only get a piece of.

The rookie Czarnik's speed was on full display as he scored his second NHL goal at 12:24. Beleskey had chipped it in the zone to Riley Nash who hit Czarnik for a 2-on-1 one-timer that he buried. 24 seconds after that, PC's Tim Schaller roofed a sweet backhander from in close (that had to be reviewed since it hit the camera in the net and popped out) which ended Bobrovsky's night for good. Dominic Moore (who was 13-3 on faceoffs as well) assisted on Schaller's second goal as a Bruin.

Backes made it 5-1 in favor of the B's in the second period at 11:51. His one-timer (his 3rd goal of the season) was assisted by Krejci and Ryan Spooner. The last Blue Jackets goal was something straight out of the soccer world as Colin Miller managed to stickhandle the puck right past Rask and into his own net at 8:40 of the third period. Undoubtedly, Sam Gagner was credited with the easiest goal (his 4th of the season) of his life.

Stop me if you've heard this before but the Bruins are headed back out on the road, a three-game road trip to be exact. This means that 11 of their first 17 games will be away from home. The good news is that in this limited sample size so far, they still look like a decent road team (5-3-0) while their next two contests this weekend are against the worst squads in the Western Conference: Arizona and Colorado are both 5-7-0. They are at the Coyotes on Saturday night (8, NESN) and then the Avalanche on Sunday night (7, NESN) before going to Minnesota (7-4-1) next Thursday (8, NESN). Their next home game isn't until Saturday, November 19 (7, NESN) vs. Winnipeg (6-7-1).


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