Boston, MA– The Columbus Blue Jackets swept a historically great hockey team in the first round of the NHL playoffs, so anyone who expected a cakewalk for the Boston Bruins against them in the second round would be silly to think that this Cinderella run would end so readily. Of course, I was also thinking that this might happen, so I shoulder some of the blame for counting Columbus out, as we now see them take a two games to one lead over the Bruins in the conference semifinals.
After Boston's 3-2 win in overtime in game one, they dropped game two by a score of 3-2 in double overtime. Last night, game three commenced in Columbus, but this one did not go into overtime. Instead, Boston continued to make simple mental mistakes as their offense was completely shuttered by Columbus' lights out goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Columbus came away with the series' first regulation win by a score of 2-1.
Bobrovsky absolutely dismantled the Bruins' scoring attack as he saved 36 shots in the game, compared to Tuukka Rask's 32 saves. Boston's biggest stars have also been thoroughly stymied by the Blue Jackets defense and if they want to return to their peak abilities, their veteran core is going to need to take matters into their own hands.
The scoring began late in the first period as Boone Jenner gave Columbus a 1-0 lead on assists from Riley Nash and Scott Harrington. About halfway during the second period, Columbus found themselves on a power play and Matt Duchene took advantage with his fifth goal of the playoffs. Boston cut the deficit in half seven minutes later, but they would not score again for the rest of the game and finished with a 2-1 loss. Boston's sole goal came from Jake DeBrusk on assists from David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman.
Boston has been in holes many times already during this post-season, and they are going to have to continue proving their mettle to avoid falling into a three games to one deficit tomorrow night. Game four begins tomorrow at 7:30 in Columbus. It's a must-win for the Bruins.