Second Round, Game 5: Boston 4 – Columbus 3
With the series tied at 2 games apiece, we head back to Boston where one team will be one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Now that it is essentially best two out of three with the Bruins having home ice advantage including in a potential game 7, they have all the best opportunities to win the series. Tuukka Rask has frankly bailed the Bruins out throughout the entire series. Boston has looked really bad at times especially games 2 and 3, with some moments of ineptitude in game 4. At the start of game 5, they looked much better as puck possession had improved and the speed and will to win loose pucks was back. Nevertheless, the first period was a stalemate as both teams battled hard keeping up the physicality we have seen the whole series.
As we moved on to the second period, we would finally see a breakthrough on the scoresheet, as David Krejci would put one past Sergei Bobrovsky and give the Bruins the lead only about 2 minutes into the period. David Backes brought the puck into the zone and drifted towards the slot where he dropped the puck off to a trailing Jake DeBrusk who would find Krejci on the right circle. The reason the goal actually went in was because Krejci didn’t make great contact with the puck and the changeup one-timer fooled Bobrovsky into lifting his pads at the perfect moment for the puck to slide into the net.
The rest of the second period was much like the first period, both teams trading chances but ultimately not getting a goal. This game was setting up nicely for a third period filled with big hits and even bigger opportunities to take the lead in the series. When the period got started, the Bruins looked to be the better team. About five minutes into the period the Bruins would double their lead when Brad Marchand scored his first goal of the series finally able to beat Bobrovsky.
Connor Clifton did a great job attacking the net on this goal and finding Marchand who got robbed by Bobrovsky but couldn’t corral the puck and it landed at the stick of Marchy where he wasn’t going to be denied a second time.
About halfway through the period, Seth Jones would fire a puck on net where it was deflected in front of Tuukka and he pinned it against the goal post. The refs would review it and determine that the puck crossed the line and deemed it a good goal. Nevertheless the Bruins would respond in a big way as David Pastrnak would answer to get the Bruins two goal lead back. Pasta and Bergeron went down ice 2-on-1 where Pastrnak would hold and shoot a wrist shot past Bobrovsky.
Columbus would then go on to score less than a minute later again making it a one goal game. With the Bruins trying to respond the Blue Jackets would once again get on the board to tie the game. While it seemed that momentum had clearly shifted Columbus’ way, David Pastrnak would once again beat Bobrovsky for the 4th time this series. As the reformed for this game, Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line entered the offensive zone, Brad Marchand brought the puck in and found Pastrnak for the relatively easy tap in to take the lead for the last time.
With Columbus emptying their net trying to tie the game once again, the Bruins buckled down and defense and continued to block shots like they have all night. Charlie McAvoy put his body on the line with seconds remaining in the game. He laid out and blocked a shot with his foot and he did not look good as he tried to get up. It was very clear McAvoy was in a lot of pain as he slowly drifted to the bench all heaped over. Hopefully it was just a stinger and there’s nothing too serious.
Tuukka Rask was just awesome again tonight. He truly has matched Bobrovsky this series. Although he let in two late goals in this game, he still made huge saves all night long and continues to look dialed in.
The Bruins now take a 3-2 series lead as we move on to Game 6 on Monday night in Columbus. The Bruins essentially have two chances to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals now as they can lose a game and return home for Game 7, but that’s worst case scenario.
Videos courtesy of NHL.com