Bruins beat Blue Jackets in matinee
A bizarre start time (2 p.m.) for their 2013-14 road opener took a little while for the Bruins (3-1-0) to get used to but once they found their skating legs, they were able to win, 3-1, vs. the Blue Jackets (2-2-0) at Nationwide Arena Saturday. The Bruins trailed 1-0 after one period on Jack Johnson’s (save your quips) power play goal but they tied it in the second and put it away with two in the third period.
It was a good day for the newest Bruins as Loui Eriksson recorded the game-winning goal (his first goal for Boston) and Jarome Iginla had an assist for his first point in Black and Gold. Tuukka Rask (26 saves) was named the first star as he allowed just one goal for the fourth straight game to start the season. Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (33 saves) won the Vezina trophy last season but you wouldn’t know it by the two soft goals that he allowed.
First, Chris Kelly tied it late in the second period on a long-range slap shot that went through Bobrovsky’s legs. Iginla and David Krejci had the assists. Eriksson put the Bruins ahead 2-1 only 49 seconds into the final frame after a one-timed backhander that wasn’t fast at all, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith notched the assists. Eriksson hit the post after a great pass from Smith and Rask robbed sniper Marian Gaborik before Milan Lucic put it away with a fluky empty netter. His pressure caused a Columbus defenseman to bank it off Lucic’s skate into his own goal.
Boston returns home for a rematch with Detroit on Monday afternoon (1, NESN) in a Columbus Day matinee.
What they’ll be saying: Matt Bartkowski made his 2013-14 debut for the Bruins and it was a good one. He had three shots on goal and two hits in 14:47 in place of Dougie Hamilton. Bartkowski is steadier than Hamilton although the latter’s ceiling is probably higher. Brad Marchand is off to a relatively slow start (1 goal, 0 assists) in his first four games and Bruins head coach Claude Julien dropped him from the second line for part of this game; the B’s need more from him on a consistent basis. Likewise, it was nice to see Eriksson and Iginla both get on the scoresheet after they hadn’t done much in the first three games (combined 0 points). Boston is deep enough to survive when they struggle but they become so much tougher when they’re making plays offensively. Shawn Thornton fought for the third time in four games, a scary pace that I hope he doesn’t keep up for his brain’s sake. Boston’ power play was 0 for 4, part of the reason this was closer than it should have been. They squandered a double minor high sticking penalty in the second after Adam McQuaid took a stick to the face.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat reporter Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate