Eriksson, Bruins down Columbus, 3-1
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Loui Eriksson scored from a hard angle in the opening minute of the third period for his first goal with Boston, and the Bruins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday.
Playing their first road game, the Bruins also got a goal from Chris Kelly, and an empty-net tally from Milan Lucic. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.
Rask blocked Marian Gaborik’s tying attempt in the closing moments and then pushed the puck aside with his glove.
Jack Johnson scored on a first-period power play for the Blue Jackets, who won their last two on the road but are now 0-2 at home.
Sergei Bobrovsky, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie, stopped 33 shots.
The Bruins played keep-away with the puck as they protected their lead during the final 19 minutes of the game.
Boston went ahead 2-1 during a rush when Patrice Bergeron found Eriksson with a nifty cross-ice pass. From the right side of the goal line, Eriksson tucked a high shot just inside the near post over Bobrovsky’s left shoulder 49 seconds into the third.
It was Eriksson’s first goal since he was acquired last summer in the trade involving Tyler Seguin. Eriksson scored his other 150 NHL goals with the Dallas Stars.
With the Blue Jackets ahead 1-0, Bobrovsky stymied a threat early in the second period. He blocked Shawn Thornton’s one-timer and then smothered the puck while Lucic and Jarome Iginla scrambled to get at the rebound in the crease.
Columbus weathered a double-minor assessed to rookie Boone Jenner for high-sticking Adam McQuaid, who turned 27.
Boston almost tied it when Daniel Paille took a chip pass and was all alone for a short-handed breakaway, but his shot was wide of the net.
An instant after that penalty was killed, the Bruins got even. Iginla dropped a pass to Kelly for a hard slap shot from just inside the blue line that eluded Bobrovsky low on the glove side with 3:42 remaining in the second for his second goal of the season.
The Blue Jackets recorded only four shots in the first period — the Bruins had just seven — but Columbus made the most of its second power-play opportunity.
James Wisniewski faked a shot from the left point and then slid a pass to Johnson at the top of the right circle. Johnson’s one-timer beat Rask to the glove side with 1:08 remaining in the period.
Neither goalie was tested much in the opening 20 minutes. Bobrovsky stared down Torey Krug, who waded in all alone from the left side and tried to jam a shot inside the near post. The puck slipped through, but Bobrovsky sat on the puck.
NOTES: Boston’s Claude Julien coached in his 700th NHL game (378-233-10-79). ... The Blue Jackets recalled C Ryan Craig from AHL Syracuse before the game. ... Both teams will face Detroit in their next game. The Bruins will host the Red Wings on Monday, and the Blue Jackets will play at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday. ... Columbus F Nick Foligno played in his 400th NHL game. ... The meeting was the first of three between the teams this season — and the only one in Columbus. ... The Blue Jackets were without LW Matt Calvert (lower body) and lost LW Blake Comeau (lower body) in the second period. ... Boston’s Johnny Boychuk left after blocking a shot in the third period, but he returned.
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