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Late Goal Lifts Blue Jackets Over Bruins

David Krejci of the Boston Bruins reacts after the 3-2 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Krejci finished with a -1 rating as the Bruins are now 3-6-1 in the month of January. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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.

First Period

  • Michael Ryder got things going quickly for the Bruins as he scored his 12th goal of the season just over two minutes into the game. He was assisted by Trent Whitfield and Miroslav Satan. Bruins 1-0
  • Columbus came back with a goal of their own by Chris Clark with less than eleven minutes left in the period. It was Clark’s sixth goal of the year and he was assisted by Raffi Torres. Game tied 1-1
  • Tempers flared after Clark’s goal as Lucic and Jared Boll threw down their gloves. Each player received five minutes for fighting.

Second Period

  • Just over six minutes into the period, Patrice Bergeron added his 12th goal of the season to give Boston the 2-1 lead. He was assisted by Daniel Paille and Zdeno Chara. Bergeron also added a penalty to his stat sheet by hooking Umberger late in the period. Bruins up 2-1

Third Period

  • Seven minutes into the period Columbus tied the game up at two apiece off of Antoine Vermette’s 15th goal of the season. He was assisted by Kris Russell on the play. Score tied 2-2
  • After Lucic was sent to the penalty box for his alleged high-sticking call, Umberger added his 18th goal of the season to give the Blue Jackets the 3-2 lead. He was assisted by Kristian Huselius and Stralman on the play.  Blue Jackets lead 3-2

The Bruins will stay at home as they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday for the second time this week. The Bruins lost the last game 5-1.

Game Notes

  • The Bruins were unsuccessful on the power play as they went 0-for-2. The Blue Jackets went 1-for-3.
  • Boston had more shots on goal (34) than Columbus (25).
  • The Bruins had 13 penalty minutes to the Blue Jackets’ 11.
  • Boston out-hit Columbus 21-20 but struggled on the faceoff. Columbus won 29 faceoffs while Boston won 25.
  • The Bruins were without Marc Savard, Steve Begin, Marco Sturm, Andrew Ference and Byron Bitz all due to injury.
  • Bergeron played in his second straight game after missing six due to broken right thumb.

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