The Salem News
---- — BOSTON (AP) — Milan Lucic scored on a breakaway with 49 seconds left in overtime to lift the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Lucic blocked Cam Atkinson’s shot just inside the blue line and the puck took a big bounce toward the Columbus end with nobody between Lucic and Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobvrosky. Lucic corralled the puck and poked a shot between Bobvrosky’s pads.
Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton also scored the Bruins.
Boston goalie Chad Johnson stopped 32 shots playing for just the third time this season with starter Tuukka Rask getting a night off.
Bobvrosky made 28 saves for the Blue Jackets, who took a 1-0 lead in the first on Blake Comeau’s second goal of the season. Boston scored twice before Nick Foligno restored the tie with a goal late in the second period.
The third was scoreless and the game appeared to be headed to a shootout before Lucic stepped in front of Atkinson’s shot and skated in alone for the game-winner.
Thornton gave Boston a 2-1 lead on a slap shot from the circle that deflected off Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson’s stick and beat Bobvrosky on the near post with 9:51 left in the second. It was the second time in the game the Bruins scored by just trying to get the puck on net.
Eriksson was credited with Boston’s first goal without even taking a shot. Eriksson was facing the net when Zdeno Chara wristed the puck from the blue line and it deflected off Eriksson’s skate into the net to tie it a 1-1 with 1:50 left in the first period.
Comeau put Columbus up 1-0 with 7:12 left in the opening period on a shot from the slot off a backhand pass from Mark Letestu from behind the goal line.
Foligno tied it 2-all with 3:26 left in the second period when Johnson gave up a rebound straight to the slot. Foligno set up his own goal with a pass intended for Michael Chaput that and ended up reaching Johnson instead. Johnson made a save with his left pad, but the rebound went right to Foligno for a one-timer.
NOTES: Letestu played his 200th career game four years to the day after making his NHL debut, also against Boston. ... The Bruins avoided losing twice to Eastern Conference newcomer Columbus. The Blue Jackets beat Boston 3-1 on Oct. 12 in what remains Columbus’ only win in the new Metropolitan Division. ... Both teams were opening a set of back-to-back games. The Blue Jackets are back at home Friday against Montreal and Boston visits Ottawa.
... Foligno had missed the last two games while attending to undisclosed personal matters.