After a light one-game slate on Monday, we got back to having multiple series in action on Tuesday. First,Blue Jackets host the Bruins before the Sharks visit the Avalanche. Both series are at 1-1 heading into Game 3, so the underdogs are both trying to protect their newly found home ice advantage.
For the second series in row, the Blue Jackets are playing an Atlantic Division powerhouse. And although they lost Game 1 in Boston, they made it a series in Game 2 with a double overtime win. Both games in this series have gone to overtime, and the Bruins are going to try to calm down what's sure to be a rowdy Nationwide Arena.
In the late game, the Sharks are trying to take out a stubborn Avalanche team that showed some depth in a 4-3 Game 2 win. Although Nathan MacKinnon got his goal, the other three goals came from Tyson Barrie, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Nieto. Even goalie Philipp Grubauer got on the score sheet, tallying an assist.
These games will ultimately determine where the pressure will be in Game 4. No team wants to have a chance to go down 3-1 on the road against underdogs. Those crowds are never fun to deal with.
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The Bruins made a strong push in the third period and had a number of opportunities to tie the game, but none of them were converted and Columbus was able to hold on. Sergei Bobrovsky was feeling it once again and made several big-time stops down the stretch to keep the Bruins frustrated. He also got some help from his red friends behind him.
Boston had a pivotal power play in the third period but mustered just 16 seconds on the man advantage before a tripping penalty from Patrice Bergeron sent the action to 4-on-4. Trouble on special teams has been a theme for the Bruins in this series.
Things did not go well for the Bruins for much of the second period. Columbus was all over Boston and they managed to double their lead with an absolutely dominant effort on the power play following a Brad Marchand high stick. The Bruins got pinned in their own end and couldn't clear the zone, and eventually it was Matt Duchene who buried a PPG in front of the net.
Boston picked up their energy in the final few minutes of the middle frame and finally got on the board with a goal from Jake DeBrusk. That tally barely made it over the goal line and needed a replay review to confirm but it counted and gave the Bruins a little momentum heading into the second intermission.
It was a very good 18 minutes of hockey for the Bruins in period one of Game 3, but they're still struggling to finish their opportunities and Sergei Bobrovsky isn't doing them any favors. The Blue Jackets' goaltender made some nice stops in the opening frame.
Despite Boston having more sustained possession in the first, it was the Blue Jackets who got on the board first when Boone Jenner made a nice move to get around Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton and fire a shot past Tuukka Rask, who over-committed a bit. It's Jenner's first goal of the postseason.
Missed chances have come back to haunt the Bruins through both games in this series (though they won Game 1 in overtime) so let's see if they can get some luck (and some finish) on their side moving forward.