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Talking Points: Haula Leads Boston Bruins To Win Over Columbus

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Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden on Saturday night.

GOLD STAR: Erik Haula finished with a pair of goals and scored the game-winner in the third period when he redirected a Brandon Carlo point shot past Elvis Merzlikins in the latter half of the final period. Haula now has four goals and 10 points along with a plus-9 in six games since the NHL trade deadline when the Bruins opted to stay pat the center position leaving him as their No. 2 center between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. The numbers are beginning to pile up for Haula as well as he now has 12 goals and 35 points on the season and keeps piling up the season stats while filling the big shoes left behind by David Krejci.

BLACK EYE: Patrik Laine was all kinds of terrible on Saturday night. He finished with zero points, zero shots on net, a minus-4 rating and four giveaways in 18:43 of ice time. No amount of fancy Finnish suits are going to take the stink off a performance like that where Columbus really could have used something from their star offensive player. Instead, he was a hurt rather than a help for a Blue Jackets team that simply wore down under the Boston attack as the game went along.

TURNING POINT: The game was up for grabs going into the third period as the Bruins and Blue Jackets are tied at 2-2 apiece. Certainly, Columbus was giving the Bruins a run and they needed to make some adjustments going into the final 20 minutes. They did just while making the Blue Jackets defensemen work much more in their own end and the Boston Bruins dominated while outshooting the Blue Jackets by a 15-4 margin over the final period. That allowed them to bust through for the go-ahead goal and score three unanswered goals on the way to another victory amidst a six-week period where there’s been plenty of them.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Strong, strong game for Patrice Bergeron, who finished with a pair of assists along with a plus-2 rating in 18:08 of ice time. Bergeron finished with eight shot attempts, one takeaway and two blocked shots in 12-of-16 faceoff wins in a fantastic all-around game now that he looks fully healthy and back from his elbow infection from the last couple of weeks. Once again, the Boston Bruins won, however, whole getting just one goal from their top line guys in an impressive teamwide performance against the Blue Jackets.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1,000 – the number of NHL games played for Nick Foligno that the Boston Bruins recognized him for ahead of Saturday night’s game against the Blue Jackets. Foligno was given a number of gifts by his friends from both the Bruins and the Blue Jackets as he was actually playing in his 1,007th NHL game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We made those changes a while ago and it’s worked out well. Erik has been a big part of that. I liked the job he did and that he continues to do. He’s responded very well from the moment that he’s been put there.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on Erik Haula responding to being placed at the No. 2 center spot during a number of forward line changes for the B’s on Jan. 1.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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[…] in Saturday night’s 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, including the game-winner for the boston bruins. The 31-year-old Finnish striker now has four goals and 10 points along with a plus-9 in the six […]

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