BOSTON — The Bruins had a number of opportunities to take Game 2 of their second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it’s the chances they passed up and simple mistakes they made that have them pegging Saturday’s loss as self-inflicted.
Boston fired 31 shots on net in 83:42 of game action and lost in heartbreaking fashion on home ice, falling to Columbus 3-2 in double overtime as Saturday night became Sunday morning at TD Garden.
It took Boston over seven minutes to register their first shot on net, and it became a night of opportunities passed up as Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky was able to settle in for a stellar evening, making 29 saves. Among several notable missed marks, Jake DeBrusk passed up a one-on-one net-front chance, instead opting to drop a pass back to David Pastrnak.
“You can’t pass up shots. I think a few chances, we were passing up shots,” Charlie Coyle said after the game. “You want to throw it on guy like that, and make sure we test him early and often.”
But passed up offensive looks weren’t the thing that ultimately did Boston in. Columbus converted on two power plays after undeniably ill-timed penalties. Artemi Panarin made it a 1-1 game at 1:03 in the second after Brad Marchand was dealt a cross checking penalty at the end of the first period. Matt Duchene’s game-winner came after an uncharacteristic tripping penalty from Patrice Bergeron, who had his stick get caught up in a skate on the forecheck. The Blue Jackets’ lone even-strength goal came as a direct result of a turnover in the defensive zone from Coyle.
“They are a good team, that’s why they’re here. I think everything they got, we gave it to them,” Coyle said. “They worked on the power play and the power play turnovers and they capitalized. Especially a team like that, they’re going to make you pay, and they did. … But if we stay out of the box, play five-on-five, take better care of the puck we give ourselves a better chance.”
Bergeron echoed those sentiments.
“The goals we gave up, I think it’s a fair assessment,” Bergeron said when asked if Saturday felt more self-inflicted. “Two penalties, the other one is again something that we can take of the puck a little better maybe. … In a playoff series it’s always about looking forward and making sure we rectify those things but a lot of it is about playing smarter.”
The good news is that Bruins get an extra day’s rest before heading to Columbus for Game 3 as they look to regain the lead in the series.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Blue Jackets game:
— Tuukka Rask was solid, making 38 saves, including a couple heart-stoppers in the first overtime.
There was little he could do on Duchene’s overtime winner.
“It’s a rebound, he’s there, second overtime, so obviously, scraps going to be in front of the net. We like to take those one-timers away. Let them shoot from up top. I saw it all the way, then the rebound came in and he banged it in.”
— Matt Grzelcyk had a milestone night.
The B’s defenseman buried his first career playoff goal, netting a power play tally to put the Bruins on the board in the first.
— Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky is pretty excited to get the series back to Columbus, and offered a bit of a chirp to the TD Garden crowd.
— Sean Kuraly had a monster night leading the Bruins’ bottom six.
The fourth-line center was second among Boston forwards in time on ice between the third period and both overtimes.