BOSTON — There’s nothing quite like playoff hockey.
After the Boston Bruins took an early 1-0 lead and gave it back to the Blue Jackets with two third-period goals within 12 seconds of one another, Charlie Coyle netted the equalizer with just 4:35 left to play, paving the way for him to score the game-winner in overtime Thursday night for the 3-2 victory at TD Garden.
Noel Acciari and Charlie Coyle (twice_ had Boston’s tally, while Riley Nash and Pierre-Luc Dubois accounted for Columbus’ goals.
Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots, while Sergei Bobrovsky was brilliant, allowing just one goal and stopping 33 pucks, but it just wasn’t enough to top the B’s.
Boston came out hot in the first period only to be slowed down in the second and third. The power play was flat as the Bruins failed to convert on four chances, but none of that mattered as the Bruins came out on top.
The Bruins took a 1-0 series lead with the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
B’S STRIKE FIRST
Boston had a prime opportunity to score first on the penalty kill when the B’s were whistled for too many men on the ice. But Bobrovsky made a crazy diving stop on a Charlie McAvoy one-timer from the low slot with just over five minutes gone from the opening period to keep it scoreless.
The Black and Gold were forced to kill off their second penalty of the period when Charlie Coyle was called for hooking at the 10:40 mark. But it ended up paying off in their favor thanks to a Columbus turnover along the boards and a shorthanded rush by Acciari, who caught Bobrovsky just out of position and buried the puck to make it 1-0.
Rask made just four saves through the first 20 minutes, but he came up huge with each stop to keep Boston in front.
BOSTON HOLDS ONTO LEAD
The B’s were unsuccessful on the power play and immediately had to kill off a David Krejci tripping call. Rask again made some timely saves to help Boston kill its third penalty of the night.
Bobrovsky continued his strong play and made a big stop on a Krejci shot that would have put the Black and Gold up by two.
Columbus went on its fourth power play of the game when Patrice Bergeron was called for hooking with just over five minutes left in the middle frame. But, as he had all game, Rask came up with some big saves to kill off the penalty and get back to even strength.
But the Bruins found themselves on a power play with just 1:12 left in the second. The club peppered Bobrovsky and kept the puck in the zone — thanks in part to Torey Krug sprawling out — but were unable to capitalize before the period came to a close.
The Blue Jackets certainly founds their game and were ready for Boston in the second. The B’s had just six shots compared to the 14 from the first period.
B’S SEND IT TO OVERTIME
The Bruins opened the third with the man advantage and went on another one just seconds later when Boone Jenner was sent to the penalty box for holding, but couldn’t convert.
Columbus got on the board not once, but twice in 12 seconds in the third to take its first lead of the night. First it was old friend Nash who capitalized on a Coyle giveaway at the blueline and tipped it past Rask from the slot to tie the game 1-1.
And before TD Garden knew it, Dubois deflected an Artermi Panarin blast from the left point by Rask for the 2-1 lead with 12:08 to go.
But the B’s weren’t going down without a fight when Coyle sent an absolute laser past Bobrovsky to send TD Garden into a frenzy and tie the game 2-2.
The Bruins’ bench acted accordingly.
COYLE ENDS IT
Coyle gave Boston a thrilling 1-0 series lead when he sent the game-winner past Bobrovsky just 5:15 into overtime to give the Bruins the 3-2 win.
The B’s continue their series against the Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 8 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images