Even though this one went to extra time, the Boston Bruins executed their game plan perfectly, completing a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets. From the drop of the puck, they were ready to go and immediately put Columbus back on its heels. The Blue Jackets, who hadn’t played a game in nine days, looked to be chasing the game and never fully found that fire they showed in the first round. They have a lot more to give, but full credit to Boston, who didn’t show any signs of slowing down after an emotional game seven win Tuesday night.
Outside of a small hiccup in the third period when the Blue Jackets scored two goals in 13 seconds, both off shots from the outside that were deflected in front of Tuukka Rask, the Bruins controlled the game. Boston had possession of the puck in the offensive zone for over seven minutes while Columbus was limited to just 4:25 of offensive zone possession.
The Bruins aggressive forecheck forced turnovers and let them put their speed to good use in their cycle game. It was on that cycle where the Bruins were able to create the most chances but in the end, it was their rush that did the Blue Jackets in.
They scored their first two goals off-the-rush and while their overtime winner was technically not off-the-rush because Danton Heinen didn’t have full control of the puck until after he entered the zone, it’s as close as you can get to a rush goal without actually being one.
This game was the Bruins game to win right from the start. They played a great game and just might have planted a seed of doubt in the Blue Jackets.
Game 2 is Saturday night at 8pm EST in Boston and the Blue Jackets need to come out flying if they don’t want to find themselves in a 2-0 hole heading back to Columbus. Don’t count out these Blue Jackets though, they’ve already shown they can bounce back pretty quickly!
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)