You know it’s not going to be your night when you get scored on early on a goal that had to bounce perfectly past Sergei Bobrovsky and into the back of the net.
And one of the flukier goals you’ll see in hockey seemed to set the tone for an ugly night at the office for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who came into the game with the chance to secure their third straight ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Instead, they’ll have to keep sweating a tight playoff race following a 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on NBCSN on Tuesday.
Indeed, the Blue Jackets will keep their playoff spot tonight, just barely. With the Carolina Hurricanes winning 4-1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the former leapfrogged the Blue Jackets into the first wild-card spot. And with the Montreal Canadiens beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2, both they and Columbus are tied on 94 points, with the Blue Jackets holding the tiebreak at this point.
The good news for Columbus, who end the season against the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, is that they control their own destiny still. But it just goes to show that a five-game winning streak can mean very little down the stretch. One bump in the road can undo all that hard work.
It also means that Columbus might have played their final game at home this season, with their remaining two regular-season games coming on the road.
The Bruins ended a two-game skid, and locked up their second seeding in the Atlantic Division after picking up two crucial points (and with help from the Hurricanes, whose win meant Toronto couldn’t catch them any longer).
Boston will now have home-ice advantage in their Round 1 series with the Maple Leafs.
Brad Marchand has had the best season of his career and put an exclamation point on that after his two-point night helped him hit the 100-point milestone for the first time in his career.
Bob was pulled after allowing four goals on 23 shots. Joonas Korpisalo wasn’t any better in relief, allowing two goals on five shots himself.
Columbus mounted a bit of a comeback bid, scoring twice in about 3:30, goals that each came on the power play, including Oliver Bjorkstrand‘s goal that extended his goal-scoring streak to six games. The problem was, five-on-five, the Bruins were simply better and responded just 1:14 after Columbus made it 5-2 with Karson Kuhlman’s third to make it 6-2.
Boston sat on their lead in the third for the most part, getting outshot 17-4 in the frame.