Game 69 Recap: Not Again
A game against an Eastern Conference team that has lost four in a row seemed like it had potential for a victory. The Jackets dominated most of regulation and overtime, but couldn't get it done in the shootout.
As is typical with inter-conference games, the first few minutes of the first period tends to be the feeling-out phase, with teams not taking many chances. This game was no different. The play was slow and plodding, with many of the offensive chances for either team ending in easy saves for the goaltender.
Both goaltenders were solid in the first, despite not being tested often. Steve Mason looks comfortable in net, moreso than he has in almost two weeks.
One thing I am noticing tonight- Craig Rivet is steady. He plays a no-nonsense game, and his pairing with Kris Russell allows Russ a bit more freedom to join the rush. When the Bruins are in the Jackets' zone, Rivet seems to always make the safe play. He also had a nice, hard shot from the point. I'm sure the Jackets would like to use his right-handed shot more.
Near the end of the first, Jan Hejda-true to form-went down to block a shot, and it looked like it hit him in the undercarriage. He wasn't sitting at the bench right away- deep breaths and time were the cure.
With under a minute left in the first period, Grant Clitsome (just as I was thinking to myself, Clitter needs to blast one) wired a slapper past Tuukka Rask. Assists to Jakub Voracek and Rick Nash.
End of the first period: Jackets up 1-0 over the Bruins.
The second period started with an obvious up-tick in energy. Both teams were skating much harder than in the first, and the pace of the game was refreshing.
There were some hard hits along the way, with resident Columbus tough guys Derek Dorsett and Jared Boll dealing out some thunderous checks.
Early in the second Mase was tested by Mark Recchi, Mase came up with the big save and father time was denied.
Midway through the second, Boston shitbird Brad Marchand got away with an elbow to the back of the head of R.J. Umberger. It will likely be reviewed by the NHL's disciplinary crew and here's hoping a suspension or fine is on the way. Ask any fan of the Halifax Mooseheads what they think of Marchand, and you'll see the red in their eyes.
Shortly after, Gigantor Chara let a slapper loose and it beat Masonm goal credited to Krejci with the tip. Tie game.
Head coach Scott Arniel didn't keep his new-look second and fourth lines together, moving Boller back to the fourth line, swapping with Scottie Upshall. Upshall and Umby looked good together.
With a little over a minute left in the period, the Jackets went on the powerplay. They weren't able to get anything going before the period ended.
End of the second period: Score tied 1-1.
The first half of the third period was uneventful, but with just over ten minutes to go in the game, a puck squirted out from the corner in front of the net, Rask whiffed on his attempt to poke check it out of danger, and Dorsett had a wide-open cage. He got the shot off but Rask made a terrific save to keep it tied at one. Very athletic save.
With 7:41 left in the third, Upshall carried the puck up the wing, sent a backhand pass across the Umby who took the puck to the net. Rask bit on Umby, and Umby slid the puck to the slot. Upshall was there to fire the puck in the net.
2-1 Jackets, Upshall's career-high 20th of the season.
The Jackets went on the powerplay a short time later, but the Bruins potted a shortie. The Jackets had control of the puck, but Brass dropped a blind pass which was intercepted the Bs. He didn't make much of an effort to get back, and the Bruins were able to carry the puck up-ice and score.
Soon after the puck was dropped, Upshall carried the puck up ice again, and feathered a pass to a streaking Vermette. Vermy's shot beat Rask, but found iron.
With about four and half to go, the Jackets got another chance on the PP. Sami Lepisto was cross-checked and was slow to get up. The Jackets had a ton of glorious chances, but Rask kept things tied. Rick Nash was guilty of trying to do too much with the puck.
With 90 seconds to go Brass had a huge one-time opportunity right at the side of the net, but Rask made a huge save to maintain the score.
The Jackets sustained a ton of pressure on Boston in the third, looking as good offensively as they have all season. Rask simply played out of his mind, making a handful of game saving stops.
End of regulation: 2-2.
The Bruins came out of the gates flying to start the overtime period, forcing Mase to make a handful of big saves. The Jackets iced the puck, and Arniel chose to use his time-out to give the guys on the ice a rest.
After the faceoff, Nash was sent in on a partial breakaway, but Rask stood tall.
The Jackets dominated play the rest of the way, but weren't able to tickle the twine. Off to the skills competition.
End of OT: Still 2-2.
1) Nash: SAVE
2) Tyutin: MISS
3) Upshall: MISS
1) Seguin: GOAL
2) Bergeron: SAVE
3) Campbell: N/A
Final Score: 3-2 Bruins in a shootout.
Scottie Upshall - He has been a factor in almost every game since he became a Jacket, scored his career-high 20th goal of the season.
Steve Mason / Tuukka Rask - Both goaltenders were fantastic, Rask was the busier of the two but both deserve praise.
Sammy Pahlsson - Did a fantastic job of shutting down the Bruins' top line all night long.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- Brassard - Brass' terrible drop-pass led directly to the Bruin's shortie, which sent the game to OT.
- Shootouts - Same old story, the Jackets can't win in the skills event.
- Rick Nash - Score a goal.
Once again the Jackets were bitten by the shootout. The point in the standings is nice, but the Jackets are in a position where they need to get two points in every game.