By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins and Blue Jackets are determined to kill their fans.
Sent to overtime for the second time in as many games in their second-round series, it was not until the 3:42 mark of double-overtime that Game 2 found a winner at TD Garden, as Matt Duchene tucked a rebound home for a 3-2 win.
The overtime came with nerves for each fanbase, too, as Tuukka Rask somehow snagged a Nick Foligno chance out of trouble with his glove just moments into overtime, while Sergei Bobrovsky was forced to make a sudden dive to his left when a Matt Grzelcyk dump-in from center ice took a strange bounce towards the net. It even required an antsy Garden crowd to sit through a Boston penalty kill, successful on the back of some hard board-work from Zdeno Chara and Noel Acciari.
The first overtime was not complete without some downright magical saves from Bobrovsky, though, as he came through with a pair of incredible stops on Patrice Bergeron before the period’s conclusion, leaving each set for a fifth period.
And with Bergeron whistled for tripping Seth Jones, the chances finally added up to a Columbus victory, as Duchene potted the game-winner through Rask on the Jackets’ 39th shot of the evening.
Long before the start of stressful overtimes on Garden ice, it was Grzelcyk who put the Bruins on the board with a power-play strike 7:50 into the first period off a pass from Charlie McAvoy, and with Grzelcyk’s shot bouncing off Blue Jackets netminder Bobrovsky’s glove and into his cage.
But the Blue Jackets were quick to answer with a power-play goal of their own in the middle frame, as Artemi Panarin straight-up blasted a one-time bomb through Rask at the 1:03 mark of the second period to even the game at 1-1.
The goal, while an obvious bullet off Panarin’s stick that beat Rask cleanly, was the obvious result of a horrendous clear attempt by Chara. It was the exact thing that a Boston penalty kill that posted a perfect 4-for-4 mark in their Game 1 victory, could not afford at that time of the game.
But Charlie Coyle (and David Pastrnak’s skate) quickly made up for Chara’s gaffe.
In the midst of an undeniable heater as Boston’s No. 1 scoring threat, Coyle stormed down the Columbus end and used his puck-possession game to take a wraparound attempt behind the Blue Jacket net and banked a shot off Pastrnak’s skate and into Bobrovsky’s net just 58 seconds after the Panarin goal evened things up at 1-1.
The goal was credited for Pastrnak, good for Pastrnak’s third goal of the postseason, and first since Game 4 against Toronto.
In what was a complete reversal of Thursday’s Game 1, though, Coyle gave a goal right back to the Blue Jackets, as he committed a brutal turnover that allowed Panarin to strike with his second goal of the game just six minutes later.
At the point of Panarin’s second goal, the Blue Jackets had just four goals on 36 shots against the Bruins in the series, but with the Black and Gold by all means gift-wrapping three of them to the Blue Jackets with inexcusably poor turnovers.
The Bruins had the chance at an immediate response, with leftover power-play time due to Josh Anderson’s double-minor for high-sticking Sean Kuraly. But the Bruins did absolutely nothing with their 2:46 of power-play time, and finished the man advantage with zero shots on Bobrovsky’s net despite some sustained zone time in the Columbus end.
In a 2-2 draw through 40 minutes, and with just 13 shots to their name after two periods, the Bruins opened the third with some of the same struggles.
No play highlighted those struggles worse than Jake DeBrusk passing up on a shot between the circles and with nobody in front of him. A 27-goal scorer in the regular season, DeBrusk’s decision not to shoot saw him instead opt for a drop pass to Pastrnak (and into traffic), and out the window that scoring chance went for the Bruins.
Jake DeBrusk did not shoot the puck here. pic.twitter.com/f59mRN1jOk— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 28, 2019
Acknowledging the obvious that this was not a memorable night for the Bruins, Boston was given yet another chance to wash it all away with a power-play opportunity gifted to them for Cam Atkinson tripping Torey Krug 10:48 into the third period.
But the Bruins once again did nothing — actually they somehow did even less than they did on the aforementioned 2:46 of power-play time in the second period — and didn’t land a single solid chance against Bobrovsky. Even breaking through the neutral zone seemed to be a chore for a Boston power-play unit that routinely carried them throughout the regular season.
So it was off to overtime for the second straight game, but not before Chara broke up a one-on-one chance for Atkinson, and not before Rask came through with a massive glove save on Foligno with 16.8 left in regulation.
Rask finished the loss with saves on 36-of-39 shots faced, while Bobrovsky took the win behind a 29-of-31 night.
The series will now shift to Columbus for Game 3 on Tuesday night.