Columbus, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Loui Eriksson scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to lift the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday at Nationwide Arena.
Milan Lucic added an empty-netter with 33 seconds left as the Bruins won their first road game of the season to celebrate the 700th NHL game in the coaching career of Boston’s Claude Julien (378-233-10-79).
Tuukka Rask finished with 26 saves while Chris Kelly also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 3-1-0.
Sergei Bobrovsky tallied 33 saves while Jack Johnson delivered the only goal as the Blue Jackets (2-2) had a two-game winning streak stopped and suffered their second loss at home.
The Blue Jackets’ offense was non-existent for nearly the first 19 minutes of the game, but cashed in on their second power play for a 1-0 lead.
Johnson took a cross-ice pass from James Wisniewski and one-timed the puck to give the Blue Jackets their power-play goal in 11 tries this season.
However, Kelly evened the score late in the second with his second goal of the season with assists from Jarome Iginla and David Krejci.
In the third, Eriksson put the Bruins ahead for good when he took a backhand feed through the slot from Patrice Bergeron low in the right circle and squeezed a backhander of his own between Bobrovsky’s glove.
The goal was Eriksson’s first as a member of the Bruins after arriving in a blockbuster trade this offseason from the Dallas Stars.
The last meeting and the last time the teams played in Columbus was Dec. 10, 2011, a 5-3 victory for the Bruins.
Because they played in different conferences since the Blue Jackets entered the league in 2000-01, they had faced off only 12 times prior to Saturday with the Bruins holding a 7-3-0-2 advantage, including 4-1-0-2 in Ohio’s capital city.
Columbus’ move to the Eastern Conference this season means the teams will play twice more this season – Nov. 14 and 30 in Boston.
The Bruins return home Monday for a Columbus Day matinee against Detroit while the Blue Jackets play Tuesday at Detroit.