Bruins shutout for first time this year in loss to Blue Jackets

Jan 14, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) and Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

On the second leg of a back-to-back that began with a Monday night collapse against the Flyers, Tuesday did not go much better for the Bruins, as the Black and Gold suffered their first shutout loss of the year in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Hammering Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins for 34 shots by the night's end (27 of which came over the final 40 minutes of play), the Bruins never quite found the finish in front of the Blue Jacket net, with four different Bruins finishing with a team-best four shots on goal but having nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.

The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, got on the board in the first period on Alex Wennberg's fourth goal of the season, extended their lead to two in the third period on a Kevin Stenlund one-timer on the power play, and put things to bed on a Riley Nash snipe with just 6:55 remaining in the third period.

The big story in this one, however, was the departure of Tuukka Rask just 1:12 into the first period.

Hammered in the head by the Jackets' Emil Bemstrom, Rask immediately crumpled down to the ice, and was helped off the rink before departing down the tunnel. Rask, who has a rather noteworthy concussion history (his last one came in Jan. 2019) and struggles with migraines, did not make his return to the ice at any point.

Boston backup Jaroslav Halak, who was expected to get the night off after a 34-for-39 night in Philly, allowed three goals on 27 shots in relief of the injured Rask, and suffered his fourth loss in his last five appearances.

With this quick three-game road swing behind them with three of a possible six points in their pocket, the Bruins will return to TD Garden and play host to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Thursday night.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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.