Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Patrice Bergeron at point-blank range in overtime. He also made an acrobatic save to stop a 90-foot dump-in that took a bad hop straight toward the net.
Whatever the shot, the Blue Jackets goalie was ready.
“There’s not many goalies that stop that puck,” said Matt Duchene, who scored at 3:42 of the second overtime to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins early Sunday morning and tie the series at one game apiece.
“It should’ve been over right there. Honestly, on a dump-in, which is insane,” Duchene said. “That guy — anything’s possible. He’s something else.”
Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots — 10 of them to hold off the Bruins in a frantic first overtime — and Artemi Panarin had two goals and an assist on the game-winner for Columbus, which fell behind twice.
Matt Grzelcyk and David Pastrnak scored for Boston, which won the opener 3-2 — also in overtime. Tuukka Rask made 36 saves.
“We’re so evenly matched, I find, with the way we both play and there’s not much room out there. There’s no one really taking over the game,” Duchene said. “It’s such a stalemate out there and I’m not surprised it went to overtime back-to-back games.”
And now the Blue Jackets are heading back to Columbus, where they have already finished off the No. 1 team in the NHL this season. Games 3 and 4 are Tuesday and Thursday nights.
“I hope they have a ball tonight,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “And they should, they should feel really good about themselves.”
Panarin’s second goal made it 2-2 with 12 minutes left in the second period, and it stayed that way through a scoreless third and a first overtime in which the Bruins killed off one penalty. But when Bergeron was sent off for tripping in the second OT, the Blue Jackets made them pay.
Less than a minute later, Duchene kicked the puck onto his stick and slid it through Rask’s legs. As the Columbus players celebrated against the boards, the Bruins filed off the ice and many fans threw the giveaway yellow towels onto the ice.
“You work hard to put yourself in a good position. Tie game. It’s on me, obviously,” Bergeron said. “The stick got caught. It’s one of those plays that you make many times and it’s not going to happen, but my stick shouldn’t be there at this point in the game.”
The Bruins took the lead about eight minutes into the game with a power-play goal by Grzelcyk . It was still 1-0 at the end of the first, when Brad Marchand was called for cross-checking after the first-period buzzer.
Sixty-three seconds into the power play to begin the second period, Panarin tied it on a one-timer from Seth Jones. But less than a minute later, Game 1 hero Charlie Coyle went behind the Columbus net and backhanded it off Pastrnak’s skate into the net.
Then things started getting really physical.
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was off for cross-checking when Columbus forward Josh Anderson, whose interference penalty led to the first Boston goal, was called for a high stick that left a bleeding gash under Sean Kuraly’s left eye.
Anderson was given a four-minute minor, but there was still a minute left on Chara’s penalty and during the four-on-four Panarin tied it with a perfectly aimed, top-shelf wrist shot from the right side.
“Their best player, Panarin, basically beat us twice on a power play. That shouldn’t happen,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s one thing we wanted to take away.”
Columbus then killed off the last three minutes of the Boston power play.
“It could have gotten away from us there,” Tortorella said. “I just liked our desperation.”
NOTES: The Bruins honored Boston Celtics Hall of Famer John Havlicek before the game. Rather than a moment of silence in memory of the Celtics’ career scoring leader, the Bruins played a highlight video and asked fans to stand and applaud. A spotlight shone on his No. 17 on a banner hanging from the TD Garden rafters. Havlicek died Thursday at the age of 79, and news broke during Game 1 of the Bruins series. … Coyle has five goals in nine playoff games with Boston after scoring seven in 44 postseason games (six seasons) with the Minnesota Wild. … Panarin has a point in all six playoff games this year, a franchise record that surpasses the five straight by Boone Jenner in 2014. … Bruins forward David Krejci, a game-time decision, took regular shifts. … It was the seventh straight day there was an overtime game in the NHL playoffs.
Game 3 is Tuesday night in Columbus.
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