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Recap: Big guns come through, Rask stands tall as Bruins take Game 4

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Well that was about as far from relaxing as possible...

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

David Pastrnak shows that his patented one-timer is doing just fine, thank you, as he fires a one-timer past Sergei Bobrosvky to make it 1-0 Bruins in the first.

Patrice Bergeron wires one on the power play. 2-0 Bruins.

Artemi Panarin scores a cheap goal after the puck goes out of play. 2-1 Bruins.

Dean Kukan throws a cheapshot on David Backes, one of a few that Columbus threw in this game. Backes would return a few minutes later.

Sean Kuraly, who only scores big goals, corrals a loose puck and fires it past Bobrovsky late in the third to make it 3-1 Bruins.

Another power play goal?! Patrice Bergeron adds an insurance marker late in the third. 4-1 Bruins.

And that’s all she wrote! The Bruins put some distance between themselves and Columbus late, but this was a tight one for 50ish minutes.

The B’s are heading home with the series tied at two games apiece!

Game notes

  • Here’s the game you can point to next time a sports radio caller (or certain Internet people) gives you the ol’ “Tuukka Rask always chokes in big games” take. Rask was a monster tonight, particularly in the second and third periods. He was the Bruins’ best penalty killer when he needed to be, making what seemed like 50 saves on that late Columbus power play alone. Huge, huge win for Rask.
  • The Columbus goal...yikes. We covered it in another post, so we won’t spend too much time on it, but: why not just treat goals like the NFL treats touchdowns? Have someone in the league office take a quick look at what happens prior to a goal, and buzz downstairs if there’s anything weird.
  • Everyone was waiting for the Bruins’ big guys to come through, and they did tonight. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak were huge, combining for three goals. Pastrnak still had his “what the...?” moments, particularly whiffing on a few stickhandles and passes, but his shot was still wicked enough to be effective.
  • Brad Marchand, on the other hand...woof. All Bruins fans were hoping for a bounce-back performance from Marchand tonight after all the goofy attention from his post-whistle antics in Game 3, but he was bad. While he was credited with 5 shots on goal, he took two really bad penalties that put the team in a tough spot. He’ll be fine, but tonight was disappointing.
  • The big guns got more goals, but the Bruins’ fourth line came up huge again tonight. On Sean Kuraly’s goal, Joakim Nordstrom’s tenacious checking on Matt Duchene lead to the Bruins regaining possession, starting the whole sequence. David Backes made a great pass back to Zdeno Chara, who wisely shot the puck wide. Overall, it was a great team play, one that started with some good work by the grinders.
  • You know who is good at hockey? Seth Jones. The Columbus blue liner is fun to watch. He skates like the wind, has great vision, and is lethal running the power play. He was credited with 7 (!) shots on goal tonight, and played more than 30 minutes. Impressive.
  • Every playoff series has that opposing player who becomes Public Enemy Number One. For me in this series, it’s a toss-up between Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Anderson. Dubois is one of those guys who always seems to start trouble after the whistle or behind the play, and Anderson is doing his best to take out whichever Bruin he can.
  • Connor Clifton got buried for a while in this game. He only skated 7:38, and wasn’t on the ice from about halfway through the third until the last shift of the game. He wasn’t bad, but clearly Bruce Cassidy wanted to lean on others.
  • David Backes looked pretty good tonight, and barring lingering effects from that elbow to the head, should probably be back in on Saturday night.
  • It’s probably not a coincidence: the Bruins finally won the special teams battle, and ultimately won the game. Holding Columbus to an o-fer on the power play was enormous, particularly that third period power play.

Back at it Saturday night! Weird start time of 7:15, don’t forget!