Boston, MA– For the entirety of the second round series between the Boston Bruins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, there has been one element that has defined each game that has been played: Boston's inability to break through. Their core group of outstanding goal scorers, David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand, were almost entirely silenced throughout the first three games of this series by Columbus' goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, as Boston fell down two games to one. Many missed opportunities and a plethora of turnovers forced Boston into this position on the road, but in game four they fought back and Pastrnak, Bergeron, and Marchand all played a role in the Bruins' big 4-1 victory to even the series at two games apiece.
Boston has been strong defensively throughout the series, and this pattern definitely held over into game four as Boston's defense shut down the Blue Jackets. But more than anything, Boston's goaltending made the difference. Tuukka Rask was unbelievably phenomenal in the game. He notched a whopping 39 saves during the game and allowed just one goal to Artemi Panarin. Even that goal was rooted in good fortune for Columbus and Rask's .975 save percentage could have just as easily been 1.000. Regardless, Rask was definitely the game's MVP.
Boston's scoring began early, just three minutes into the first period, as Charlie McAvoy assisted Pastrnak for his fourth goal of the playoffs. On a power play, Bergeron scored his fourth goal, thanks to assists from Marchand and Torey Krug. After a scoreless second period, Boston took a 2-1 lead into the third where they finally buried the Blue Jackets in the game. Zdeno Chara and David Backes provided the assists for Sean Kuraly's goal and Bergeron again scored the dagger on another power play with assists from Pastrnak and Krug.
Now, the series heads back to Boston for game five. The Bruins have been nothing but resilient throughout this entire post-season, but there is no denying that some breathing room for once would be very welcome. Game five is tomorrow night at 7:15 P.M. Let's go Bruins!