By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
As the Boston Bruins were riding a four-game losing streak, they looked to snap that streak when they visited the Columbus Jackets at the Nationwide Arena. With the playoffs just a month away, both teams looked to get things going, the Bruins especially. With their most recent loss to the struggling Islanders, the Bruins wanted to flip the script. On the other hand, Columbus was coming off a 3-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes and looked to extend their winning streak. Backup goaltender Tuukka Rask would get the start for Boston as Tim Thomas rested up, and Columbus’s starting goaltender was Steve Mason. Scratches for Boston were Andrew Ference and Michael Ryder. Columbus would be without Chris Clark, Marc Methot, Andrew Murray, and Anton Stralman.
Boston down early after 1
Even though Boston wanted to come out of the gates hot and mistake-free, it was the complete opposite of that. Just 57 seconds into the first period, Boston was called for too many men on the ice, and Columbus had an early chance to take the lead while on the powerplay. Thankfully for Boston, their penalty kill was on point, and they killed off the penalty. After that, it was a back-and-forth contest between the teams. Up until the halfway point, there were two penalties called, one for each team, which made it a 4 on 4, but other than that, the game was still tied at 0. As the period dwindled to the closing minute, we finally got the first goal of the game. With 53 seconds left, Blue Jacket Grant Clitsome put one behind Rask, and it was 1-0 Columbus. The horn shortly sounded, and both teams went to their respective locker rooms. After one, Columbus outshot Boston 12-10, but this was still a tightly contested game.
Krejci Ties it in the Second
Much like the start of the first period, the second period started just the same for Boston. Just three minutes into the period, Shawn Thornton was called for holding, and Boston would be shorthanded. Once again, though, Boston killed off the penalty, and it was back to even strength. Up until the halfway mark, both teams were evenly paced and had equivalent shots on net. With around eight minutes left in the period, Brad Marchand and R.J Umberger were skating towards the blue line trying to retrieve the puck, and Brad Marchand elbowed Umberger in the head. At the time, there was no penalty called since Umberger was in the vicinity of the puck, but after the game, Marchand would receive a two-game suspension. Shortly after this incident, David Krejci would rip a puck right past Steve Mason, and the game was tied. It was Krejci’s 11th goal of the season, with assists going to Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk. Other than Boston getting another penalty called and killing it off, the period ended, and after two, it was tied at 1. Once again, Columbus outshot Boston, this time 11-7.
Unlike the first and second periods, Boston did not get called for a penalty, and it was even strength for most of the third period. Throughout the period, Boston and Columbus tried breaking the tie and were equivalent again on shots on net. That was until with 7:41 left in the period when Columbus’s Scottie Upshall put one past Rask, and Columbus was on top 2-1. As Boston tried to claw back, they found themselves in the penalty box once again when Nathan Horton was called for holding the stick and Columbus was on the powerplay again. The bright side for Boston this game was their penalty kill unit was on point, including Rich Peverly. With 50 seconds left on Columbus’s powerplay, Rich Peverley stole the puck from Derek Brassard, skated past the blue line, swerved around two Blue Jackets players, and put the puck behind Steve Mason. It was now a 2-2 tie, and the Bruins bench was ecstatic. With momentum on Boston’s side, they tried to take the lead, but the period soon ended, and the game was going to Overtime. Once again, Columbus outshot Boston, this time 10-7, but Boston somehow found a way to stay in the game.
Seguin wins it in a Shootout
Boston started Overtime on a good foot or skate, you could say, as they actually started outshooting Columbus. However, Steve Mason held his ground and kept Columbus in the game. Overtime quickly came to an end, and now the game was going to the shootout. Columbus would get the first shot in the Shootout as they sent out captain Rick Nash. Tuukka Rask stuffed Rick Nash, and now it was rookie Tyler Seguin’s turn to try to net one for Boston. Tyler Seguin skated hard to the net, got Steve Mason moving left-to-right, and Seguin netted the puck. After three unsuccessful shots, two from Columbus and one from Boston, Boston would win the game 3-2 off of a Tyler Seguin shootout game-winner. This was an important win for Boston, as they couldn’t afford to lose the fifth game in a row with the playoffs coming just a month after. The three stars of the game were Tuukka Rask, who saved 34/36 shots, Rich Peverly, and Steve Mason, who saved 27/29 shots. Boston looked to get a winning streak going as they would visit the Nashville Predators, who were looking to clinch a playoff berth.