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Recap: Bruins’ offense continues to sputter as Columbus takes Game 3, 2-1

It might go beyond frustrating at this point. Maddening, maybe?

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

No Streamables tonight, as our fearless highlighter had other commitments. Embedded Tweets it is!

Boone Jenner gets Columbus on the board late in the first period. It was a good offensive effort, but a terrible defensive effort by the Bruins and some poor positioning by Tuukka Rask. 1-0 Columbus.

Matt Duchene makes it 2-0 Columbus on the power play, right on the doorstep. Looks familiar, eh?

Jake DeBrusk gets the Bruins on the board late in the second period, as the puck trickles through Sergei Bobrovsky. It was initially ruled no goal, but was switched to a good goal after review. 2-1 Columbus.

This, from Noel Acciari early in the third period, just about sums up how frustrating the Bruins offense has become.

And that was it! The Bruins would have some decent chances down the stretch, including another hit post, but there was nothing doing.

Columbus takes Game 3 by a score of 2-1, and leads the series by the same margin.

Game notes

  • Sigh. I’m having a hard time figuring out how I feel about this game. The Bruins weren’t terrible, Columbus wasn’t great. It came down to a bounce here, a post there. The frustrating thing is that the Bruins were the better team for the majority of the first period, and then completely fell apart on that Jenner goal. It just can’t happen, from the defense back to the goalie. The early lead allows Columbus to sit back and essentially play prevent defense. With a goalie as good as Bobrovsky in the opposing net, that’s not a winning formula.
  • Speaking of Bobrovsky, I don’t buy the narrative that he in any way stole this game for Columbus. Aside from that sprawling swipe on Danton Heinen, he was solid when needed, but wasn’t the reason Columbus won the game. I’m sure it sounds like bitterness, and isn’t meant to say he wasn’t good; rather that it wasn’t like he was forced to make sterling save after sterling save. Columbus did a good job limiting high-quality chances and rebounds.
  • Brad Marchand continues to mystify. He took an idiotic penalty with a crosscheck. He got absolutely toasted by Josh Anderson on a pivotal third-period power play, leading to Patrice Bergeron taking a hooking penalty. He then whacked Scott Harrington in the back of the head after the whistle, which will likely put an officiating spotlight on him the rest of the way.
  • The new third line of Marcus Johansson, Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak was great for about 3 shifts, before it kind of fell back to Earth. Pastrnak would be moved around, but continued to see his good chances limited, his frustration growing.
  • Special teams play is what’s winning this series for Columbus right now. Duchene’s power play goal was almost a carbon copy of his Game 2 winner. The Bruins failed the clear the zone a few different times, spending nearly the entire 2 minutes scrambling around before Duchene finished it. The Jackets’ PP has looked like a well-oiled machine in comparison with the Bruins’ sputtering man advantage.
  • Riley Nash continues to be the target of the Bruins’ ire. He got laid out by Charlie McAvoy toward the end of the second period.
  • McAvoy looked pretty good offensively tonight, and the fourth line had some decent possession shifts in the offensive zone. Other than that, I’m drawing blanks on anything noteworthy.
  • The long knives will come out for Pastrnak again tonight, as he didn’t score or appear super dangerous offensively. At this point, most of the Pastrnak takes are overhyped due to the slump, but the Bruins do need him to be better if their season is going to extend past this weekend.
  • The Bruins are now faced with the same situation as the first round: what is essentially a must-win Game 4. If they win, they’re in fine shape; if they lose, they’re borderline screwed. Aren’t the playoffs fun?
  • It will be interesting to see what the Bruins do lineup-wise heading into Game 4. I still think they’re not going to be able to resist the urge to put David Backes in at some point, and wouldn’t be surprised if John Moore ends up coming back (if he’s healthy). It’s tinkering for tinkering’s sake at this point.

Your thoughts on the game? Frustrated? Oddly optimistic? Have your say!