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Bruins triumph over Blue Jackets, 7-2

  • Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates away from Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Sonny Milano (22) during the second period in Boston on Monday. AP PHOTO

  • Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois, right, hangs onto Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) as they fight during the third period on Monday. AP PHOTO



Associated Press
Monday, December 18, 2017

BOSTON — Jake DeBrusk set up second-period power-play goals by David Backes and Charlie McAvoy and added a goal of his own, Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots to keep up his hot stretch, and the Boston Bruins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2 on Monday night.

Brad Marchand, Danton Heinen, Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who had a season-high scoring total while halting a two-game skid. Rask improved to 6-0-1 in his last seven starts. McAvoy also had an assist and his first career NHL fight.

Josh Anderson and Seth Jones scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves — including a penalty shot by Tim Schaller — for the Blue Jackets.

Columbus lost for the third in four games and was dominated in the first two periods when they fell into a 3-0 hole.

Leading 1-0 in the second, DeBrusk made his two very nice cross-ice passes, helping the Bruins converted on consecutive power plays just over five minutes apart.

On the first, DeBrusk skated deep down the left wing and sent a pass across to Backes, who one-timed a shot into the net.

DeBrusk then set up McAvoy’s goal with a pass across the slot from the bottom of the right circle. McAvoy one-timed it into the net before Bobrovsky could get to the other side of the crease.

The Bruins owned a 28-14 edge in shots on goal after two periods, dictating play for most of the game. Columbus had just one shot on goal by a forward in the opening period.

Anderson converted a feed from Alexander Wennberg 8:32 into the third, but Heinen scored to seal it.

Rask made a solid pad stop on Cam Atkinson’s partial breakaway with the Bruins on a power play early in the second.

Marchand made it 1-0 when he one-timed a drop pass from Bergeron inside the right post for his 14th goal with 5:12 left in the first.

Earlier in the period, Schaller missed a wide-open net when he hit the left post on a rebound with Bobrovsky out of position.

NOTES: McAvoy also got into a fight in the third period. Injured Bruins D Adam McQuaid watched the replay on a TV in the press box, smiled and said: “He just needs an assist now,” referring to a Gordie Howe hat trick of a goal, assist and a fight. ... Marchand has at least a point in a career-high nine straight games after missing his previous six with an injury. ... Boston C David Krejci was sidelined with an upper body injury and wasn’t expected to travel to Buffalo. ... Columbus LW Markus Hannikainen was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous three games. ... The teams face each other one more time this regular season — on March 19 in Boston. The Bruins lost the only other meeting; 4-3 in a shootout in Columbus on Oct. 30.

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: Host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday in the teams’ first meeting this season.

Bruins: Travel to Buffalo and face the Sabres on Tuesday. They lost 5-4 in overtime at home on Oct. 21 in the only other matchup this season.