By: Gayle Troiani | Follow me on Twitter @LadyBruinsFan
It was a rollercoaster of a game that began with a pre-game ceremony honoring Captain Patrice Bergeron for reaching the 1000 point milestone and ended with an almost goal from goalie Jeremy Swayman who earned his sixth victory with the Bruins beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 Saturday afternoon at TD Garden improving to 24-4-2.
The Bruins needed Swayman to have a good game to help him get some confidence back and also lighten the load from Linus Ullmark who has started in 20 of the Bruins 30 games. Swayman looked solid in net making 31 saves. But the play that got the Boston faithful the most excited was not when he flashed the gloves, but when he just missed the open net with 1:01 remaining in the game.
“I was looking and it was close,” Swayman told NESN’s Adam Pellerin after the game. “It’s not the last time I’ll try it.”
The Bruins were dominating play early in the first outshooting Columbus seven to zero when Jake DeBrusk drew a holding penalty against Vladislav Gavrikov. David Pastrnak scored his 20th goal of the season giving Boston the 1-0 lead. Pastrnak now has goals in 18 of 30 games this season. Hampus Lindholm and Brad Marchand had the assists.
The Bruins lack of discipline continued as they took five minor penalties in the first two periods. Boone Jenner tied the game with his 11th goal of the season with a backhander while David Krejci sat in the box for high sticking. Krejci would atone his mistake by recording his own power play goal giving Boston the 2-1 lead with just over two minutes left in the second. The slapshot that got past Columbus goalie Daniil Varasov was Krejci’s ninth of the season from Charlie McAvoy and Taylor Hall.
The third period has been the best period for the Bruins this season and today’s game was no different, they potted two goals to extend their lead to 4-1 before giving up a second power play goal to Columbus when Patrick Laine netted his ninth of the season. Prior to today’s match-up, the Blue Jackets had recorded just two power play goals out of 28 tries on the road. They went 2-for-5 against the Bruins today.
The two third period goals from Boston came in front of the net off rebounds. Hall scored his 13th of the season when he put home the Pastrnak shot initially stopped by Tarasov. Tomas Nosek got his third of the season when he collected the Derek Forbore rebound at with seven minutes left in the third period. Krejci had the secondary assist on Hall’s goal, while Craig Smith had the helper on Nosek’s goal.
Pastrnak has now scored 20 goals in seven consecutive seasons. The most consecutive 20-goals seasons in Bruins’ history are Johnny Bucyk (10), Bergeron, Marchand and Rick Middleton all have 9, and Phil Esposito has eight.
With the win, the Bruins extended their home point streak to 18 games (16-0-2) and became the first team to reach 50 points this season. Boston will look to extend the streak Monday night when they host the Florida Panthers at 7 PM.