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Anton Stralman may have helped out his team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, a little more than referee Dean Morton knew on Thursday night. In a questionable call late in the third period, Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins was called for high sticking on Derick Brassard and received four minutes in the penalty box. Upon replays of the penalty, the video clearly showed that it was Stralman’s stick that hit his own teammate in the face, drawing blood from his lip, not Lucic’s.
“I’m not going to comment too much on that, that’s called human error,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team lost its third straight and sixth in the last seven. “It’s unfortunate and it’s what it is. It’s human error.”
The Blue Jackets only needed 15 seconds of the four-minute power play to go ahead 3-2 to get the victory over the Bruins. Oh, and it was Stralman’s shot that ended up being tipped in by teammate R.J. Umberger for the game-winner.
Lucic knew that it wasn’t his stick that hit Brassard in the face but he had to face the penalty regardless.
“I definitely didn’t feel like my stick got up,” Lucic said. “I felt like it was below my waist the whole time. We can complain about it all we want but [Morton] went by what he felt like he saw on the ice and he went with his decision.”
It’s unfortunate that the call ended up determining the outcome of the game, but the Bruins let the game slip out of their hands as they allowed two goals in the third period after being up for most the game. The loss brought the Bruins to 23-18-8 on the season while the Blue Jackets improved to 20-24-9 on the year.
Tuukka Rask started in goal for the Bruins and got the tough loss in the decision. He stopped 22-of-25 shots on goal and saw his record fall to 10-6-2 on the year.
For the Blue Jackets, Steve Mason was impressive as he got the win while in goal. He stopped 32-of-34 shots on goal for his 12th win of the season and is now 12-16-6 on the year.