Boston Bruins

Jan 2, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Sonny Milano (22) is surrounded by teammates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

The Bruins failed to protect a third-period lead once again and suffered a league-worst 11th overtime loss thanks to a Pierre-Luc Dubois dagger scored 52 seconds into overtime against the Blue Jackets on Thursday night at TD Garden.

Holding a one-goal edge through 40 minutes of play, the Bruins ran into trouble on a pinball shot that banked off Matt Grzelcyk and into the Boston net at the 2:06 mark of the third period, and it was in overtime that Seth Jones and Dubois finished off a two-on-one opportunity sparked by an inopportune dive for offense in the Columbus zone.

“As for the overtime, some of it is we’ve got to smarten up,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Can’t get caught diving down low, that’s happened more than once this year. On those puck battles away from your net, if you don’t make a play at their end, you’ve got to make sure you put yourself in a better spot defensively to defend the rush or get off the ice.

“That’s cost us a few times, so at some point you’ve got to learn from those mistakes as well.”

But before things got ugly for the Bruins, it was Pastrnak put the Bruins on the board with his 30th goal of the season, scored at the 11:07 mark of the second period, and just four seconds into Boston’s second power-play of the night.

Pastrnak’s tally did more than just put the B’s up one in this tight-checking game, too, as it extended the Black and Gold’s power-play goal streak to nine straight games, and made Pastrnak the fastest Bruin to 30 goals since Cam Neely accomplished the feat in (an utterly absurd) 27 games back in 1993-94.

The Bruins also had a successful challenge — and on their first challenge of the year, no less — at the 17-second mark of the first period on a Gustav Nyquist strike that was deemed goaltender interference.

But the aforementioned Milano and Dubois goals put an end to those small victories for the B’s, and spoiled what was an otherwise solid performance from Tuukka Rask, who finished with 31 saves in the losing effort.

“He was solid,” Cassidy offered. “I mean, the goal that went by him, it was a lucky bounce. No chance on the last one, we didn’t defend it very well. He was really good for us.”

The Jackets’ Elvis Merzlikins, meanwhile, came through with a 25-of-26 performance for the win.

If there’s anything else to celebrate in this one (I know, I know), it’s that the Bruins got center Krejci — as well as Torey Krug and McAvoy — back in action for this contest. All three players made it through the game without aggravating their respective injuries, too, which is an obvious plus moving forward.

Up next, the Bruins will welcome Connor McDavid and the Oilers to town for a Saturday matinee.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.