November 17, 2011

Post-Game Breakdown: B’s barely edge Jackets in shootout

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 2, Columbus 1 (SO)

Recap: After a dull, scoreless opening period, Derek MacKenzie got the Blue Jackets on the board at the 2:49 mark of the second period, beating Tuukka Rask with a nice deflection from the slot to make it 1-0. Boston responded a few minutes later when a shot by Adam McQuaid made it through traffic and by Curtis Sanford to knot things up at 1-1.

The score remained the same until the two teams went to the shootout. Tyler Seguin was stoned but Rask followed that up with a big save on Rick Nash. After Rich Peverley and Mark Letestu traded tallies, David Krejci found the back of the net to put Boston ahead. A save on Antoine Vermette sealed the deal, giving the B’s their seventh-straight victory.

Records: Boston 10-7-0, 20 points; Columbus 3-13-2, 8 points

Key Play of the Game: In what was an insufferably boring game during most stretches, it’s truly a chore to pick the play of the game. We’ll give the nod to Krejci’s strike in the shootout, as No. 46 came in with speed and found room on the right side as Sanford began to sag back in his crease.

Connolly’s Commendations: First and foremost, to stray from the usual pattern on here, how about Curtis Sanford? The guy hadn’t made an NHL start in practically three calendar years, and yet was still able to put on a magnificent performance with a number of huge stops late in regulation and in overtime.

Tuukka Rask — in this scribe’s opinion — looked a bit shaky from time-to-time but he came up with all the necessary stops. His confidence should receive a big boost in not only winning a close contest but allowing a single goal in 65-plus minutes of action.

Connolly’s Critiques: Shame on Boston’s power play for not coming through. They finished the night 0-for-2, not the worst line in the world, but failing to draw more calls on one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the NHL — as well as not converting during on a4-on-3 advantage in overtime — deserves chastising.

Notes: Derek Dorsett had seven hits through two periods. In that same time span, Boston had the same total as an entire team. Joe Corvo had a team-high five blocked shots.

Final Thoughts: By the hair of their chinny, chin, chin, the Bruins narrowly escaped a catastrophically bad loss. In the end, luckily, they all count the same, and the winning streak is now pushed to seven games.

Next: The Bruins will hit the road for a three-game trip away from the Garden. It begins Saturday against the Isles.