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Bruins Lose Rask And Then Lose 3-0 To Blue Jackets



In a span of 24 hours, the Boston Bruins blew a 5-2 lead and lost 6-5 in a shootout to the Flyers in Philadelphia Monday and on Tuesday, were shutout for the first time this season, losing 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

What was even worse, was after they watched their starting goalie Tuukka Rask take a questionable hit to the head from Blue Jackets forward Emil Bumstrom forcing Rask to leave the game with what was later announced as a concussion, and not return, they had no response for Bemstrom and no response for Blue Jackets rookie goalie Elvis Merzlikins who beat the Bruins for a second time this season with a 34-save shutout.

Alexander Wennberg, Kevin Stenlund and former Bruins forward Riley Nash all scored for the Blue Jackets, sending the Bruins home with their second-straight loss and a 1-1-1 road trip.

The Bruins power play goal-scoring streak was also snapped at 15 games as the Bruins went 0-for-4 on the man advantage. The Blue Jackets did convert on their powerplay though going 1-for-2. 

Before both teams could even get settled into the game, the Bruins, still trying to recover from the brutal loss in Philadelphia Monday night, found themselves without Rask. Bemstrom, crossing across the middle of the ice and trying to shake off Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, came in tight on Rask and chicken-winged him in the back of the head. The Bruins netminder went down to the ice, was slow to get up and then had to be helped off the ice by the training staff. No penalty was called on the play. The Bruins announced Rask would not return thanks to an upper-body injury.

Halak, who was lit up for five goals on 39 shots in the shootout loss to the Flyers on Monday night, was thrown right back into the fire and given a chance to redeem himself. Halak wasn’t nearly as bad as Monday night, stopping 24 of 27 Blue Jackets shots, but not quite where he needs to be again. Halak seemed to still be fighting the puck early and after the Bruins failed to score on a powerplay at 5:53 of the opening frame, the Blue Jackets carried the play more in the second half of the period. At 13:27, Wennberg found himself down low and beat Halak on the fifth shot he would face in almost identical fashion to the goal Flyers forward Sean Couturier did when he cut the Bruins’ lead to 5-3 midway through the second period Monday. Forwards Vladislav Gavrikov and Nathan Gerbe got the helpers on Wennberg’s fourth of the season. 


Possibly because most of them were unaware of what had happened to Rask, the Bruins never really answered the bell until 12:35 into the second period when Bruins winger Joakim Nordstrom went after Bemstrom in front of the Bruins bench and Bemstrom refused to drop the gloves. Blue Jackets winger Pierre-Luc Dubois jumped in to get Bemstrom’s back and both him (roughing) and Nordstrom (unsportsmanlike conduct) spent two minutes in the sin-bin. Up until that point the Bruins had been out-shot 11-2 but that appeared to wake them up ad they skated with more purpose and intensity from there on in the second period, out-shooting the Blue Jackets 12-2 until the second intermission.

Unfortunately, the Bruins weren’t able to carry off that momentum early in the third period as they failed to score on another powerplay compliments of a Sonny Milano slashing call 1:34 into the final frame. Just 3:07 later, Bruins winger Brad Marchand was headed to the sin-bin for high-sticking and the Bruins found themselves shorthanded for the second time in the game. This time the Blue Jackets converted on the man advantage as Stenlund got his fourth goal of the season at 5:46 from Nick Foligno and Bemstrom to pad the Columbus lead to 2-0. 

In a game where goals were hard to come by the Bruins couldn’t take advantage of an almost instant chance to pull within one goal when they got a powerplay thanks to an Eric Robinson interference call at 5:49. The powerplay still couldn’t find their groove, getting just two scoring chances and the Bruins still trailed 2-0. Every time the Bruins seemed to sustain any pressure and get a shot off, Merzlikins would gobble it up and the Boston frustration boiled, but never really over into their game as they lacked response just as they did when Rask went down.

At 13:05 of the final frame, Nash put the nail in the coffin as he broke in alone and beat Halak with a snapper to make it 3-0. The goal was unassisted and was the former Bruin’s fourth of the season.

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