The Boston Bruins looked to continue their winning ways against a surging Columbus Blue Jackets team.
The Boston Bruins came into this game after an impressive, shutout victory over first-place Tampa over the weekend. With Ryan Donato making his NHL debut tonight and Boston only four points behind the Lightning, there was much anticipation for this game.
On the other side, the Columbus Blue Jackets entered tonight looking for their eighth-straight win amidst a tight metropolitan race. It took more than 60 minutes, but it Columbus did get that eighth win and two points they were looking for.
When the Bruins took the ice for warm-ups, #61 was missing and it was shortly after announced Rick Nash would miss tonight’s game. Which meant Ryan Donato would be jumping up to play with David Krejci in his debut.
But, just over four minutes in, a defensive breakdown led to a tip-in goal by Boone Jenner to put the Blue Jackets up 1-0. Boston responded well, getting some quality shots off, especially on the powerplay. Overall, a solid period for the Bruins even though they finished down 1-0. They outshot Columbus 14-5 and out-chanced them 9-3 with almost ten minutes of zone time.
And just like that, Ryan Donato with his first NHL goal in his debut! He led a fast break down the side, a nice give-and-go with Torey Krug, and finished with a fantastic one-timer to tie the game at one apiece. Of course, Brad Marchand was going to get in on the scoring too. Just two minutes later, Marchand found himself with the puck all alone in front. The 31-goal scorer made a nifty move to his backend and roofed it over Korpisalo.
The Bruins weren’t done yet. The powerplay unit continued to put some solid chances on net and piled on the offensive pressure. With just about three and a half minutes left in the period, Riley Nash was able to backhand one past Korpisalo. But, just 25 seconds later, the Blue Jackets cut the lead in half.
Some great overall action after the first 40 minutes. Boston still had total shots on Columbus 27-15.
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Familiar-foe Thomas Vanek knotted the game at three, just over five minutes into the period. Some back and forth action on both sides, brought us to eight and a half minutes to go when Columbus yet again found the back of the night immediately off the face-off. Again, 20 seconds after the Blue Jackets just took the lead, Donato connects with David Krejci to tie the game back at four apiece.
Up to this point, this game had been entertaining with no shortage of action. But, as soon as Krejci tied it once more, the tempo had increased even more for the last several minutes of regulation. Posts hit by both teams, bodies flying around, it felt almost like playoff hockey was already here.
But, this one needed more than 60 minutes.
In the first minute, Marchand got a great look at the net, but a botched no-call by a backchecking Columbus d-man kept the game notched. Then, again, a developing two-on-one was held without a good shot, because what looked like another missed penalty. As black and gold luck would have it, the Blue Jackets came back to win this one.
Cam Atkinson was able to beat Rask with just about two minutes left in overtime. Columbus’ win streak now extended to eight and they improved to 8-1 in overtime. Boston Bruins are now 5-7 in overtime.
Bruins fell 5-4.