What a wild Game 5 in Boston, as the Bruins held on for dear life and escaped with a win at home. It was a 2-0 game and then in a blink of an eye the game was tied at 3-3. That was until with 1:30 to go in regulation, David Pastrnak buried the game-winner on a feed from Brandon Carlo and Brad Marchand. The Blue Jackets seemed to tie it back up with seconds remaining, but Tuukka Rask somehow made a sprawling save with his right pad to keep the puck out of the net.
John Tortorella wanted the officials to review the play, but there wasn’t any evidence that the puck made it past the line. It was a pretty quick decision. The fact that the puck stayed under Rask was pretty amazing, though. Pastrnak had the game-winner, but Rask made the play of the game. I said it earlier in this series that the difference is Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky. Whoever plays better is going to win the series and Rask happened to have the edge at home in Game 5.
The Bruins and Blue Jackets are evenly matched, with the edge going to the Bruins for experience and a bit more grit in their lineup. However, in the end it’s largely based on the goaltending. Rask allowed a cheapie to get the game to 2-1, but he made up for it with seconds ticking down on the clock.
Game 6 turns to Columbus, where the Blue Jackets absolutely need a win. A loss and they’re staying home in Ohio to clean out their lockers. Win and it’s on to a final and decisive Game 7 in Boston. Again, expect this to come down to goaltending, and the Jackets also can’t come out as lazy as they did in Game 5. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Blue Jackets Game 6 pick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Game 6 Pick
The Blue Jackets could have very well won that game if they didn’t come out half asleep. The first period wasn’t a good effort from either team, as we were waiting for somebody to make the first move. It never really happened until the Bruins opened the scoring and then added another to go ahead 2-0. That got the Blue Jackets moving their legs finally.
If they took the initiative to do that in the 1st period, we’re likely looking at a scenario where the Jackets could close the Bruins out in this game. Because it wasn’t like the Bruins were on fire or anything, the Blue Jackets weren’t playing, though.
Rask is back on the road where he hasn’t been as good this season. The entire Bruins team was quite good in Game 4, though. I selected the Bruins with confidence despite that, but they were in desperation mode and going all out. With a 3-2 lead in the series and the luxury of playing Game 7 back in Boston, I don’t expect them to come out flying like they did then.
That was the first win for the Bruins in Columbus in five games. Don’t expect the Blue Jackets to wait to the 3rd period to start playing here. They are likely going to give that effort right from the opening puck drop to catch the Bruins off guard. Rask is likely to play well again, but I can see him getting overwhelmed in front of his net. Consider the Blue Jackets on Monday and expect a Game 7 at TD Garden on Wednesday.