Columbus started strong in their matinee game today against Boston, their second home game of the season. They maintained the puck for much of the period, staying in the Bruins’ zone but unable to get many shots off in the face of solid Boston defense.
Defenseman John Joseph Louis Johnson III–more familiarly, Jack Johnson–scored the first goal of the game during a power play opportunity with an assist from Marion Gaborik and James Wisnewski. Both teams played with a lot of physicality; Boston has always played the type of hockey that depends more on physical domination than subtle stick work, and that showed in today’s game. Columbus responded well, but with the exception of Johnson’s power play goal, were unable to push any more of their 27 shots passed Tuuka Rask.
The second period saw heavy dependence from the Blue Jackets on Sergei Bobrovsky, as more time was spent down in their defensive zone. By the end of the game, Bobrovsky blocked 33 of 36 shots on goal. Boston game out from the intermission pushing hard and skating fast. Chris Kelly evened the score with less than four minutes to go in the second period after coming off a hooking penalty. The rest of the game was spent largely in the Blue Jackets’ zone, but neither team tallied any more points.
The Bruins scored early in the third period thanks to Loui Ericksson with an assist from Patrice Bergeron and Riley Smith. If the first period belonged to Columbus, and the second to Boston, the third period saw a bit more even play with lots of scoring chances for both teams. Ultimately, though, the Bruins came out on top with a final score of 3-1 thanks to a late third period goal from Milan Lucic. Honestly, Rask was just a brick wall for the entirety of the third period; there was no getting the puck passed him.
Both teams will face the Red Wings in their next game. Boston will host on Monday; Columbus will travel to Detroit on Tuesday.