Talking Points: Second-guessing Bruins' shootout decision

bruins_kenny_agostino_103017.jpg

Talking Points: Second-guessing Bruins' shootout decision

GOLD STAR: While it took a while for the Bruins to get going, Patrice Bergeron was one of the players that didn’t stop playing for the Black and Gold. It was his power-play goal in the second period that started to turn things moving in the right direction, and he continued that level of play with a no-look pass to Brad Marchand for the game-tying score in the third period. Bergeron finished with a goal and two points in 22:08 of ice time with four shots on net, a hit, a takeaway and managed to win 13-of-27 draws while doing yeoman’s work at both ends of the ice. It’s a shame that Bergeron was never able get involved in the shootout after Kenny Agostino and Brad Marchand were the first two guys to come down the pipe.

BLACK EYE: Kenny Agostino played just five minutes in the shootout loss to the Blue Jackets, but somehow he managed to be one of the two shooters that Bruce Cassidy was able to get out on the ice before Columbus iced the shootout win. That means Agostino was going to be one of Boston’s top three shooters over either Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak, and that is a choice that leaves plenty of room for second-guessing. Agostino might be a lights out shootout/penalty shot specialist in the AHL and he may have been impressive in practice, or perhaps it was more of a hunch from Cassidy that he would come through. Whatever it was, hopefully it’s the last time we see the career AHL winger get selected over Boston’s top-tier offensive players in their next shootout.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins came on strong in the third period and scored a pair of goals to wipe out the Columbus advantage, and push things into the extra session. It was goals from Torey Krug and Brad Marchand that ended up tying things up after Boston’s horrid start, and gave the Bruins an impressive finishing kick that showed some heart and character. It wasn’t completely dominant from the B’s as it was a 9-9 shot count in the final 20 minutes, but the Bruins were very clearly exerting some pressure on the Blue Jackets.

HONORABLE MENTION: Zdeno Chara didn’t factor into the scoring, but he did make a clear statement that the first period wasn’t acceptable when he stepped up and dropped the gloves with Josh Anderson at the start of the second period. He was targeted with a number of hits in his final shift of the first period, so he was pretty surly to start the second as the rest of his teammates should have been as well. Chara leveled Anderson behind the Boston net to start the trouble, and then finished things with the fight against another mammoth player on the other roster. In all Chara finished with seven shot attempts, a hit and a couple of blocked shots in 24:08 of ice time.

BY THE NUMBERS: 29:19 – the total ice time for workhorse defenseman Charlie McAvoy against a heavy, physical Blue Jackets bunch as the rookie continues to take on more and more responsibility for the Black and Gold.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t think we’re a team that’s going to win too many games if we don’t have all 20 guys going, and I don’t think that was the case pretty early on.” – Bruce Cassidy, to NESN on his assessment of the ghastly start for the B’s in their eventual 4-3 shootout loss.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruins rally from 3-0 deficit but lose to Blue Jackets in shootout, 4-3

bruins_blue_jackets_panarin_rask_103017.jpg

Bruins rally from 3-0 deficit but lose to Blue Jackets in shootout, 4-3

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Artemi Panarin gave himself a nice 26th birthday present.

Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in a shootout, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Monday night after squandering a two-goal lead in the third period.

Columbus has won eight of its first 12 games, a franchise record for October.

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for his sixth win. He also had an assist - the eighth of his career and first this season.

Tuukka Rask stopped 29 shots for the Bruins, who lost their second in a row and dropped to 4-4-2.

The Blue Jackets had been plagued by slow starts but got on the board 1:59 into the game when David Savard threw the puck toward the net and it wiggled past Rask off a deflection. Alexander Wennberg and Matt Calvert assisted on Savard's second goal of the season.

"With the starts we've had lately, it's always nice to go up in a game early like that," Savard said.

After a pair of unsuccessful power plays, Columbus found the back of the net again with less than three minutes left in the first period. Boone Jenner, playing in his fifth game after returning from injury, scratched and clawed at Markus Nutivaara's rebound until he put it past Rask at 17:08. Josh Anderson was also credited with an assist on Jenner's first goal of the season.

The Blue Jackets' third goal of the night came at 8:27 of the second period when Nutivaara took a handoff from Bobrovsky and sent it nearly the length of the ice to a driving Tyler Motte, who put the puck in the net.

"It was a great pass," Motte said. "I'd like to see how far that traveled before it got to my stick. It found a way, and it was right there."

The goal was Motte's first with the Blue Jackets and came just hours after he was recalled from the minors to take the place of injured Cam Atkinson.

"From his first shift on I thought he gave us energy and did a lot of good things," coach John Tortorella said. "I had to move him into a spot where he was getting more ice time."

Patrice Bergeron got the Bruins on the board with his second goal of the season, a power-play score at 15:37 of the second with a shot from the point off around-the-horn passes from Danton Heinen and David Pastrnak.

It was the first power-play goal given up by Columbus at home this season, and the first the Bruins scored against the Blue Jackets with a man advantage since Nov. 30, 2013.

With both teams skating 4-on-4 in the third period thanks to penalties on Calvert and Brad MarchandTorey Krug caught Bobrovsky moving side to side and made it 3-2 at 10:26. Assists went to Kevan Miller and Pastrnak.

Marchand came out of the box and tied the game 40 seconds later, scoring the Bruins' second power-play goal of the night with assists by Bergeron and Pastrnak. It was Marchand's eighth goal of the season and the 200th of his career.

"We put ourselves in a bad spot and we fought our way out of it, so that's the positive," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "I don't like to see us start like that. I take a lot of pride in being ready to go. I thought we weren't as a group. We corrected it and gave ourselves a chance to get two points. It just didn't work out in the shootout."

Although Columbus dominated much of the game, its power play continued to flounder as the team failed to score all four times it had a man advantage.

NOTES: The game was a homecoming for Sean Kuraly, a Dublin, Ohio, native, whose younger brother, Nick, is senior captain of the Bishop Watterson High School hockey team in Columbus. ... Boston backup goalie Anton Khudobin was hurt during Sunday's optional practice and did not travel to Columbus.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.

Blue Jackets: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE