On Throwback Thursday night at the Garden, the man between the pipes for the Bruins making game-saving plays had a familiar jersey on, which allowed the B's to claim another dramatic win.
Chad Johnson, sporting the familiar #30 jersey, made 32 saves to get his first home win on the season when Milan Lucic scored with 49 seconds left in overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The win capped a very successful five game home stand for Boston, who garnered nine out of a possible ten points (4-0-1) on their longest home trip of the 2013-14 season.
The game winner came when Lucic blocked a shot, which squirted out into open ice ahead of the Blue Jackets' defenders. Lucic came in on Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and beat him with a wrist shot past his glove hand to earn the extra point for the victory. The goal was Milan's eighth on the season and his second game-winning goal this year as he tallied the winning goal in the Bruins' first game of the season versus the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 3rd.
Johnson, who was starting only his third game of the season, was spectacular in the third period, when the Blue Jackets upped their play and had many quality chances to take the lead. He made two huge saves within the span of 30 seconds in the first part of the period, first on a point-blank shot from Ryan Johansen and then on a slap shot from Fedor Tyutin. He also made a terrific save in the early stages of the overtime period, when Nick Foligno spun away from a defender and fired a backhand at net, which was gloved down by Johnson.
Columbus got the scoring started at 12:48 of the first period on a goal by Blake Comeau. The goal came in the "vulnerable minute", which is the minute of play after a team has killed off a power play. The Bruins were shorthanded due to Milan Lucic drawing a roughing penalty after trying to instigate a fight with Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky had drawn the ire of Lucic and teammate Jarome Iginla after Dubinsky checked David Krejci, who left the ice for the remainder of the first period with an injury. Dubinsky appeared to make a legal check on Krejci, who was falling to the ice after losing an edge and ended up in an awkward position prior to the hit. Krejci returned to the ice at the start of the second period and played the rest of the game with his normal line.
The Bruins tied the game at 1-1 with less than two minutes left in the first period, when Zdeno Chara's slap shot from the point was deflected by Bobrovsky by Loui Eriksson. The puck careened off of Eriksson's skate past the Blue Jackets' goalie, who protested unsuccessfully that the puck was deliberately kicked into the net by the Bruins' winger.
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead on a beautiful slap shot by fourth-liner Shawn Thornton just past the midway point of the second period. Gregory Campbell set up the goal by back-passing to Thornton, who was able to beat Bobrovsky to the short side of the net for his second goal of the season. Nick Foligno scored the equalizer just six minutes later when he followed up his own shot to shoot the rebound past Chad Johnson for his fourth goal of the season. Foligno had just six goals in 45 games for the Blue Jackets last season.
The win puts the Bruins just three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins' four game winning streak is currently the longest in the NHL, and they have given up the fewest goals in the entire league this season. Boston plays in back-to-back nights, as they travel to Ottawa for tomorrow night's tilt with the Senators, who are sitting in sixth place in the Atlantic Division, seven points behind the Bruins.