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Round 2 Game 3 Recap: Sergei Bobrovsky, Defense hold the line in physical victory

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NWA was rocking as Columbus takes the series lead

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

With the series between the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets tied at one game apiece, the teams met at Nationwide Arena for Game 3. Here’s what happened:

Crowd

With a crowd of over 19,000 packing NWA and another crowd gathered outside watching on big screens, the atmosphere looked like nothing we’ve seen before at Front and Nationwide. Normally NBC’s mics don’t pick up as much crowd noise, but on TV it sounded LOUD. Most fans appeared to be on their feet for the entire game, and certainly for the third period. Credit to all of you who were in attendance.

When certain media members are there for the first time, the blast from the cannon can take them by surprise:

Boone Jenner

The scoring was kicked off late in the first period by the fourth line, led by Boone Jenner. Boone has been a physical force all postseason, but many of his shot attempts have just barely missed. He was on point with this one. It began with Scott Harrington chipping the puck out of the defensive zone. Riley Nash won a race to the puck and passed forward to a streaking Jenner. He then deked Connor Clifton out of his skates and beat Tuukka Rask low glove side.

Matt Duchene

Duchene was the hero of Game 2 with an power play goal in the second overtime to win it. For the second straight game, he ended up with the game winning goal on the power play. This particular power play was one of the better ones the Jackets have had all season. They sustained possession in the offensive zone, even as their shot attempts failed. They peppered the crease with shot after shot. Finally they succeeded in the waning seconds of the man advantage. A Cam Atkinson slap shot was saved by Rask, with the rebound finding Nick Foligno. The captain’s ensuing shot also was saved, but finally Duchene’s own rebound attempt got through.

It makes it so much sweeter that the goal came after a penalty on Brad Marchand, that rat-faced f@&#. More on him later.

Continuous play?

The most dangerous lead in hockey was short-lived, as the Bruins scored in the final minute of the second period. Initially it appeared as though Sergei Bobrovsky had reached behind himself and stopped the puck before it crossed the line. The referee waved his arms that there was no goal, as the Bruins players celebrated. Video review showed that the puck did, in fact, cross the line and had done so before the ref blew his whistle.

Here was the NHL’s explanation of the ruling:

After the game, John Tortorella said he agreed that it was a good goal. I hate that I have to concur. It’s an unfortunate goal, but it’s justified that Boston get credit for it. Jake DeBrusk’s shot hit the inside of Bob’s left leg, and the puck then deflected into the net without any further contact. It was well on its way before the ref blew his whistle, or had any “intent to whistle.”

Still, I felt good going into intermission. The Jackets still held a 2-1 lead and had largely dominated play in the middle frame, with a 22-11 advantage in unblocked shot attempts in all situations.

Bob

Here’s how you can describe the Jackets’ play in the third period:

That chant rang through the rafters multiple times as Bob continued his run for the Conn Smythe trophy. As Boston continued to attack in wave after wave, like the Night King’s army of wights, Bob continued to stand on his head and stop everything that came his way.

This was the one of the most important, and one which made me cross my legs in sympathy pain:

In total, the Number One Cop saved 36 of 37 shots he faced. He did get some help from his teammates, as they blocked 22 shots and dished out 53 hits. Gonna be a lot of sore bodies tomorrow.

Brad Marchand

I regret to inform you that Marchand is at it again. He dished out this sucker punch to Scott Harrington:

Would a suspension be justified? Absolutely. It’s a shot to the head of an unsuspecting opponent, and it’s delivered by a repeat offender. Will he actually get suspended? I doubt it. The Department of Player Safety prefers not to act unless there’s an injury, which didn’t happen here. They could wave this off as being like any other of the post-whistle skirmishes that have occurred through the series.

Keith Jones

Immediately after the game, NBCSN cut to their studio show and this happened:

This is a completely unacceptable and unprofessional comment for an on-air personality of the league’s exclusive broadcast partner to make. Any Columbus fans watching are celebrating one of the biggest wins in franchise history, and Jones (who I normally like) can’t stop himself from being a Debbie Downer and bringing up a future failure for the club. We should be allowed to enjoy the moment. Whether Bob stays or leaves this summer doesn’t diminish what the team as a whole as accomplished to this point.

A friend tried to convince me that I shouldn’t let other people’s opinions of the team bother me. I know I should just ignore it. I just can’t help but be bothered by the team getting ripped on in one of the few chances they’ve had to this point to be on national TV.

Up Next

The series stays in Columbus for Game 4 on Thursday at 7:30. That will be the first game in Blue Jackets franchise history to be played in the month of May. I will see you there!

In the meantime, the Cleveland Monsters are still in contention for the Calder Cup, with their second round series commencing tonight in Toronto. The game is at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio. We will post a game thread tonight for anyone who wants to chat while watching.