But even as they snapped a two-game losing streak, the Bruins still suffered another loss. Captain Zdeno Chara went down late in the second period and did not return. The extent of the injury was not known immediately after the game.
"Right now he's being evaluated," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I don't know how serious it is. All I was told was that he wouldn't come back in the third and that he had a lower-body injury."
Chara got tangled up with Columbus forward Antoine Vermette with about six minutes left in the second period. Chara's left knee appeared to bend awkwardly as they made contact. He went down to the ice, but did make his way to the bench under his own power before heading to the locker room.
Chara, who had played 13:27 to that point and had scored a goal, did not return in the third and it is uncertain how much more time he will miss.
"I guess we'll evaluate him in the next day or so and find out whether it's minor or if it's more serious," Julien said.
A serious injury to Chara would be a major blow to the Bruins. He leads the club's defensemen in goals, assists and points with 6-13-19 totals and a plus-18 rating. He also leads the entire team in ice time, averaging 25:13 a game going into Saturday's contest.
He won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman in 2008-09 and was a finalist last season. He leads the league in plus/minus over the last two seasons at plus-51 since the start of the 2010-11 season. He's also proving very durable despite his physical style, missing just 12 games in five-plus seasons with the Bruins.
The Bruins will miss him dearly if he is out for any extended time, but the rest of the defense did an excellent job picking up the slack in the third period on Saturday.
Joe Corvo scored his first two goals of the season, while Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg each added assists. Seidenberg led the Bruins in ice time at 26:20, while Johnny Boychuk logged 22:40 and had four shots, two hits and a blocked shot. Ference chipped in two shots and two blocked shots in 22:03, and Adam McQuaid had four blocked shots in 16:40.
Steven Kampfer was the healthy scratch and has not played since Nov. 17, but would likely return to the lineup if Chara cannot play on Tuesday when the Bruins return home to host the Kings. Kampfer has played just five games with the big club this year, with an assist and a plus-4.