BC-HKN--Bruins-Blue Jackets,1st Ld-Writethru
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jake DeBrusk and the Boston Bruins bolstered their chance for home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are just trying to get into the postseason right now.
Boston beat Columbus 6-2 on Tuesday night, ruining the Blue Jackets’ opportunity to clinch a wild card in their last game at home. Instead the race will extend into the last two games of the season.
Columbus began the day in the first wild-card slot. It could have clinched a playoff berth with a win and a Montreal loss. But Montreal beat Tampa Bay, and Carolina beat Toronto.
When the dust settled, the Hurricanes were on top of the wild-card standings with 95 points. Columbus and Montreal each had 94, and the Blue Jackets hold the tiebreaker over the Canadiens.
DeBrusk had two goals and an assist and Tuukka Rask made 32 saves to help the Bruins stop a two-game slide. Brad Marchand and Karson Kuhlman each had a goal and an assist, and Marcus Johansson and David Pastrnak also scored.
“It’s kind of the team we’ve been all year, right?” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We’re a good hockey club, and we don’t usually lose a lot of games in a row. And we try to take care of the business at hand and correct why we lost.”
Oliver Bjorkstrand extended the longest active goal streak in the NHL to six games with a third-period tally for Columbus, which had won five in a row. Matt Duchene also scored.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 19 stops, but allowed four goals before being relieved by Joonas Korpisalo late in the second period. Korpisalo had three the rest of the way.
“They just had really good sticks,” Columbus forward Cam Atkinson said. “They checked really hard and made it really hard for all of us to break out, to get into the neutral zone and even getting into the offensive zone. They played a lot better than us.”
Boston got a bizarre break 1:58 into the game when a shot by DeBrusk bounced off the top of the net and straight into the air. On the way down, it hit Bobrovsky in the back and trickled in.
The Bruins went up 2-0 late in the first when Johansson banged in a rebound for his first goal since being acquired in a trade with New Jersey at the deadline last month.
Late in the second, Marchand tapped in a shot amid heavy traffic . DeBrusk got his second goal on a breakaway 46 seconds later, and Pastrnak made it 5-0 early in the third.
Columbus answered with back-to-back power-play goals. Bjorkstrand, who has been on a tear, converted a shot from the top of the right circle. Duchene then got his 31st of the season at 9:14, but the Blue Jackets were unable to keep the momentum.
Kuhlman followed with Boston’s sixth goal with 9:32 left.
“We got what we deserved tonight,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said.
NOTES: Marchand became the 10th player in franchise history to reach 100 points in a season. ... Columbus D Adam McQuaid missed his third game with an upper-body injury. ... Cassidy coached his 300th NHL game. ... Boston D Steven Kampfer played in his 200th NHL game. ... Bruins D John Moore missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury. ... Columbus broke a franchise record with its 248th goal of the season. ... Pastrnak has 12 points in his past seven games.
Bruins: Visit Minnesota on Thursday for penultimate regular-season game.
Blue Jackets: Finish the season with games at the New York Rangers on Friday and Ottawa on Saturday.
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