4/3/22 by Nick Antonakas
The Boston Bruins hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday in a must-win game for Boston. The Bruins needed to come out with a win to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs in an extremely tight Atlantic division race. Following an atrocious loss against the Maple Leafs, the B’s looked to get back on track. The Bruins also honored Nick Foligno as he played his 1000th NHL game against Columbus, who he formerly captained for four seasons.
The Bruins struck first with a goal from Erik Haula in the first period off a scramble in front of Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins. In the waning seconds of the first, the Blue Jackets struck back off an awkward bounce in front of Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman leading to Columbus forward Gustav Nyquist netting his 17th goal of the season to tie the game at one a piece. In the second period, the Bruins failed to clear the puck from their own end, and the Blue Jackets capitalized. Justin Danforth put in the rebound off a shot from an awkward angle to put Columbus up 2-1. Throughout the rest of the second period, both teams were in a fire fight with constant chances for both teams followed by impressive saves by both netminders. As the Bruins continued to apply pressure, Brad Marchand netted the equalizer at the end of the second off a feed from Bergeron to tie things up at two.
Merzlinkens continued to stay strong through the third period as the Bruins continued to tally up shots. Eventually however, Columbus’ lack of offense caught up to them, as Boston’s 40th shot, which came from Haula, put the B’s up 3-2 with 3:54 left in regulation. The Bruins would go on to score two empty netters, one from Jake DeBrusk and the other from Charlie Coyle, sealing the victory by a score of 5-2.
With the win following Sunday’s action, the Bruins sit in the top wild card spot in the east. They are two points behind both the Maple Leafs and Lightning who sit at second and third place, respectfully, in the Atlantic division. With all three teams having 14 games remaining in their seasons, these last few weeks should be extremely entertaining. The Bruins are back in action on Monday, April 4, against the Blue Jackets, puck drops at 7 p.m. ET.