Bruins close successful homestand with win over Blue Jackets

The Bruins wrapped up a very successful five-game homestand (their longest of the season), 4-0-1 after a 3-2 overtime win vs. the Blue Jackets Thursday at TD Garden.

Milan Lucic blocked a shot then skated in alone on a breakaway and scored with 48.6 seconds left. His team-leading eighth goal of the season was unassisted and surprisingly it represented the first OT game-winner of his NHL career. It seems like a long time since Boston (12-5-1) fell 3-2 in a shootout to Dallas last Tuesday to open the homestand.

“I was hoping that he (Sergei Bobrovsky) would stay in the net so he had to make a decision,” said Lucic. “I was able to block a shot then got a lucky bounce to gather the puck. We had talked between periods about ending the homestand on the right note.”

Chad Johnson (32 saves) made only his third start of the season for Boston and his first appearance at TD Garden as a Bruin. He understandably had some rust beacuse he hadn’t played in a game since Nov. 2 (at Islanders) but he seemed to pick it up in the third and overtime when his teammates needed the boost. Columbus (6-10-2) scored first as Blake Comeau finished a one-timer in the first period. Boston answered late in the frame as Zdeno Chara’s shot from the point was deflected in off Loui Eriksson’s skate.

Shawn Thornton put the Bruins up 2-1 in the second period with a snipe past Bobrovsky (28 saves). Nick Foligno tied it after Johnson gave up a juicy rebound in the slot. Lucic’s heroics handed Boston a four-game win streak heading into Ottawa (7-7-4) Friday (7:30, NESN), the beginning of a three-game road trip. The Bruins don’t return home until next Thursday vs. St. Louis.

A key to Boston’s turnaround has been their penalty kill which hasn’t allowed a goal in its last 26 opportunities.

“We were really disappointed vs. New Jersey (Oct. 26, when they allowed 4 power play goals) so every game is a new challenge,” said head coach Claude Julien. “Guys are taking pride in it (the penalty kill streak) and want to prolong it as long as we can.”

What they’ll be saying:
It is still very early but this was a game that the Bruins might not have won a few weeks ago. At times, they seemed disinterested but picking up two points was vital against an inferior team like the Blue Jackets. Speaking of Columbus, you won’t find a much bigger disappointment in the NHL than them. They nearly made the playoffs last season, Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy and they forked over a big deal to former Bruin Nathan Horton (currently out following shoulder surgery). Boston averted a major crisis after David Krejci fell awkwardly headfirst into the boards in the first period. He left for the rest of the frame and had to sit in the quiet room but he was back on the ice to start the second period. Torey Krug continued his strong play, recording points in five straight games (2 goals, 3 assists) after another assist this evening. The ironic part about Eriksson picking up his third goal is that none of them have come on real quality shots. If he can ever get his shooting on track, look out. Rask will be back in goal for the Bruins on Friday but this win should give Johnson some confidence moving forward when Boston will need him more often. With back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, Johnson is sure to get another start in one of those (at Hurricanes and at Rangers).

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…