The Bruins were in danger of extending their road woes, but they came out of a shaky performance in Columbus with two points thanks to an injury replacement.
Alexander Khokhlachev, filling in for the injured David Krejci, netted the only goal of a seven-round shootout to give the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets (box). The Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit with three third-period goals to take a 3-2 lead on Daniel Paille‘s first goal of the season, but Jack Johnson responded to tie the game at three apiece.
Boston can only hope Friday’s win can set them up for further road success in the coming weeks. The Bruins have three straight games at home against some tough opponents (the Canadiens Saturday and the Penguins Monday before wrapping up the homestand against the Jets), but after that they’ll embark upon a very challenging four-game West Coast road trip. With any luck, they’ll be healthier then.
Here are four other things we learned Friday night:
DAVID KREJCI IS NOT YET IN THE CLEAR
Krejci missed yet another game Friday, his 10th of the season. The first-line center has battled lower-body issues all season and has not played in consecutive games since Oct. 28 and 30.
Earlier this week, Adam McQuaid explained what it’s like to go through a situation like Krejci’s. McQuaid was in and out of the lineup last season with lower-body injuries that eventually cost him his season after 30 games.
“It’s hard,” McQuaid said. “If you’re feeling good, you’re going to go. If you’re feeling good, you’re not going to take extra time if you don’t feel like you need it. Hopefully when he’s back, he’s back and back to stay.”
With Krejci and Brad Marchand out of the lineup, Boston forward lines were as follows:
Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly - Soderberg - Eriksson
Lucic - Khokhlachev - Griffith
Paille - Campbell – Gagne
MATT BARTKOWSKI STARTING TO GET THE POINT
We’ve written enough about Bartkowski’s early-season struggles, but his play since being scratched for seven straight games has been much, much steadier.
Bartkowski took a pair of penalties Friday night, but he also had a pair of assists, most notably on the game-tying goal in the third period. The 26-year-old took a feed from Patrice Bergeron and fired a shot towards the net that Matt Fraser redirected pass Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 2-2.
Bartkowski also had an assist Tuesday, giving him three assists over the last two games. He has yet to score a goal in the NHL.
NIKLAS SVEDBERG MAY BE REMEDYING HIS STRUGGLES
When Svedberg allowed two goals in the first 1:38 of Friday’s game, it appeared his recent troubles (he allowed five goals on the road against the Habs last Thursday) might be snowballing.
Boston’s backup would stay the course and eventually straighten things out. Svedberg came up big minutes into the third period with three straight saves on a Blue Jackets, stopping a Nick Foligno bid and denying second-and-third chance opportunities from Columbus. He also robbed Jack Skille with a glove save with under 10 minutes to play and did not allow a goal in the shootout.
Given that Svedberg was given Friday night’s game, it appears Tuukka Rask will face the Canadiens Saturday.
DENNIS SEIDENBERG IS STILL GOOD FROM LONG-DISTANCE
Seidenberg is no stranger to scoring from center ice, most notably on his fake dump-in on then-Lightning goalie Mike Smith in December of 2010.
The veteran defenseman scored his latest long-range goal to get the Bruins on the board early in the third period Friday night, but there wasn’t any trickery needed. Seidenberg simply gained the red line, fired a slap shot straight on net and beat Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 2-1.
The goal was Seidenberg’s third of the season. His career-high is seven, which he netted in the 2010-11 season.