Second Round, Game 6: Boston 3 – Columbus 0
As the series goes to Game 6 with Boston holding a 3-2 series lead, we head to Columbus where the crowd was loud from start to finish. Yes, the garden was much louder in Game 5 than in Game 2, but this Columbus crowd is LOUD. The Bruins needed to try and score early to take the crowd out of the game, but they could not manage to score in the first period. Even if they had, there was no taking the crowd out of this game. They have been waiting a long time for the Blue Jackets to play in the second round of the playoffs and on the brink of elimination the crowd was needed for them to have a chance to stay alive.
In the first period, neither team would get on the board although it appeared the Bruins should have taken the lead early on. It looked as though Sean Kuraly scored what was ruled a good goal on the ice, but after Columbus challenged for goalie interference, the decision center in Toronto deemed that Joakim Nordstrom did in fact interfere with Sergei Bobrovsky. It was a bogus call that should have never been reversed. Yes, it could definitely have been goalie interference, but the contact came outside the crease and Nordstrom was pushed into Bobrovsky. The refs had it right on the ice, it should have been a good goal, but what are you going to do? Nothing.
As we went onto the second period, the game remained just as physical if not more so. Boston was looking strong in this period and had the better opportunities. The Bruins would finally get on the board just over halfway through the period when David Krejci would beat Bobrovsky with a one-timer stick side after a shot from Jake DeBrusk rang off the post and around the boards right to Krejci.
Late in the period Charlie McAvoy would hit the Jackets’ Josh Anderson but he would get him square in the jaw with his shoulder. It was a really bad looking hit that most certainly should have been a major penalty, game misconduct, and most certainly a suspension. However the refs would get together and make the call that it was only a 2 minute minor penalty. It was a break for the Bruins and although Anderson was fine and returned to the game, I still think Charlie will get a game, or at least a fine.
In the third period where the Bruins really needed to turn it on and close out the Blue Jackets, they got it done. They started off the period killing the rest of the McAvoy penalty and looked solid in doing so. Halfway through the period, the Bruins would go on the kill once again after Nordstrom took a penalty for tripping, and they killed that one too, but not for the faint of heart. Columbus came with a really strong power play opportunity, but Tuukka Rask was the best penalty killer for the Bruins once again as he has all series long. He was a wall in goal once again showing everyone once and for all that he was outplaying Bobrovsky.
After killing the Columbus power play opportunity I mentioned earlier, Marcus Johansson would show the Bruins why they traded for him as he would score to double the lead. He held the puck on his forehand and sniped one through the pads of Bobrovsky who didn’t get enough to make the save.
As Columbus was starting to look a little desperate and trying to make riskier plays, Rask stood tall and the Bruins kept their composure. Roughly two minutes after Johansson made it 2-0, Torey Krug would throw a puck the front of the net to find a streaking David Backes. He would get a perfect re-deflection that beat Bobrovsky once more to make it 3-0.
With the game and the series essentially in the bag, the Bruins didn’t stop attacking. Where most teams may sit back and play defense, the Bruins continued to attack the Blue Jackets almost making 4-0. When the clock got to just inside 4 minutes, Columbus pulled Bobrovsky for the extra attacker and they were relentless. Tuukka continued to stand on his head and save everything. Eventually the clock would hit zero and the Boston Bruins are moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will host the Carolina Hurricanes.
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