One night after Zdeno Chara notched the "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" - a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game - Milan Lucic tallied his own version of a "hat trick".
Lucic scored two goals and added his first fight of the season to lead the Boston Bruins to a dominant 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night in Boston. Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who extended their point streak at home to 11 games, going 9-0-2 in that period. David Krejci chipped in with two assists, giving him 17 assists on the season for the B's.
Chad Johnson picked up his fourth win in five starts for the Bruins, making just 13 saves on the night as the Blue Jackets were limited to just 14 shots on goal. It is the second straight game the Bruins have prevented their opponent from taking 20 shots on goal, as the Rangers were able to muster just 19 shots during their tilt on Friday afternoon.
Curtis McElhinney dropped to 1-3-1 on the season for Columbus, as he was peppered by 36 shots on net by the Bruins.
The Bruins started the scoring nine minutes into the contest, when Patrice Bergeron scored his eighth goal of the year to make it 1-0. After a great shift spent primarily in the Columbus zone with great puck movement from Dougie Hamilton, Brad Marchand, and Bergeron, Hamilton found the Bruins' assistant captain for a quick shot that found its way past the Blue Jackets netminder. Loui Eriksson was screening McElhinney allowing the puck to squirt into the low corner of the net for the goal. Hamilton and Marchand picked up assists on the goal, their 4th and 8th assists on the season respectively.
The Bruins were able to apply lots of pressure in the Blue Jackets' end immediately following their first goal, with multiple lines having great scoring chances. Jarome Iginla had a great chance following a turnover on the next shift after Bergeron's tally, followed by Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg each having shots on net. Gregory Campbell's blocked shot in the Boston end led to a 2-on-1 chance for the fourth line, and then Brad Marchand had his bid at a goal deflected out of play by McElhinney, who did a terrific job at times limiting the damage in this game.
The Bruins went on a power play with just over five minutes left in the first period, and quickly took advantage to take a 2-0 lead. Just 22 seconds after Ryan Johansen was sent to the penalty box for Columbus, Milan Lucic found the back of the net for his tenth goal of the year. David Krejci took a tough pass onto his backhand and found Torey Krug just to the left of the right faceoff circle for a slap shot, which was tipped by Lucic into the net for the power play goal. Krejci picked up his 16th assist on the play, while Krug now has nine assists this season.
The action slowed in the second period until the 8:34 mark, when Lucic and Columbus' Dalton Prout engaged in a fight. It was the first fight of the season for Lucic and his 46th fighting major in his career. Nick Foligno tried to engage Dennis Seidenberg with 1:36 left in the second period, after Seidenberg clocked Foligno with a shoulder along the boards. Foligno threw his gloves down, tried to instigate a fight, and finally threw Seidenberg to the ice by the back of his jersey while the officials were trying to break up players. Foligno received a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a ten-minute major penalty for misconduct for the incident.
The Bruins looked lethargic for lapses in the second period, but still had some quality chances at times. Jarome Iginla had two quality shots at scoring with 6:30 left in the period, one jamming in front of the Columbus net, and one with a pinpoint shot directly in front of McElhinney. Krejci, Iginla, and Krug also had great chances during a power play late in the second, as the man-advantage for the Bruins looked very sharp against the Blue Jackets all game long.
Boston made it 3-0 just 2:15 into the third period on Milan Lucic's second goal of the night. Lucic fired a slap shot from center ice just inside the blue line which seemed to deflect off a Columbus stick up and over McElhinney with Iginla screening in front of the net. Krejci (17th) and Iginla (10th) picked up the assists on Lucic's 11th goal of the year.
The Bruins almost made it 4-0 just two minutes later when Brad Marchand hit the post after a great feed from Patrice Bergeron across ice in front of the Columbus net.
Columbus scored their only goal on the night with 6:16 elapsed in the third period on a power play goal from Ryan Johansen. The Blue Jackets were up a man due to a tripping penalty on Dougie Hamilton, with Johansen drawing the infraction. RJ Umberger threaded a cross ice pass to Johansen for his tenth goal of the year, which is a career high for the young Blue Jackets' center.
The win gives the Bruins a five point lead in the Atlantic Division over Tampa Bay, Montreal, and Detroit, while the loss drops Columbus to solo seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, still just five points back of the third place Rangers. The Bruins are off until Thursday night, when they travel to Montreal for their first meeting with their arch rival from north of the border.