COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky kept up his impressive postseason play, making 35 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Boone Jenner and Matt Duchene scored for the Blue Jackets, who won a second-round home game for first time in franchise history.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night.
Tuukka Rask had 32 saves for Boston. The Bruins’ only goal was a flukey one in the last minute of the second period, the only chink in an otherwise brilliant game by Bobrovsky, who is having the best postseason of his career thus far.
Bobrovsky withstood a flurry by Boston earlier in the second period, including an acrobatic save that saw him sweep away a puck from in front of the goal line. The Bruins pulled Rask with 2:11 left but couldn’t beat Bobrovsky with the 6-on-5 advantage.
Columbus overcame deficits twice to win Game 2 in overtime at Boston on Saturday but never trailed in Game 3. There were some big hits but the game was less testy than the previous two meetings between the two teams in the postseason.
The Blue Jackets struck late in the first period when Jenner, skating left to right across the slot, slid the puck past Rask on the glove side before the goalie could adjust. The tally with 1:23 left was Jenner’s first of the postseason.
With Zdeno Chara in the penalty box for high-sticking Jenner in the face, the Blue Jackets swarmed for an extended time in front of the Boston net before Duchene tapped in another goal with 7:18 left in the second.
Boston made it a one-goal game with 40 seconds left in the middle period when in a knot of players in front the Columbus net, the puck trickled behind Bobrovsky and over the line. The goal initially was waved off by an official, but a video review determined that play hadn’t stopped before the puck slid in. Jake DeBrusk got credit for the goal.
Boston’s best opportunity to tie the score came with just under 9 minutes left when David Savard went to the penalty box for tripping, but 16 seconds later Patrice Bergeron was whistled for the same infraction, creating a 4-on-4 and then a brief Columbus advantage.
NOTES: Tuesday’s game was the latest in April that Columbus has played in franchise history. The Blue Jackets, who won a playoff series for the first time, have never played in May. … Columbus rookie Alexandre Texier was a healthy scratch for the first time in the playoffs. … David Krejci joined Ray Bourque (125) and Bobby Orr (66) as the third player in Boston franchise history to have 60 playoff assists. ,,, Columbus has won 13 of 15 games dating back to March 24.
UP NEXT: Game 4 on Thursday night.
Boston Bruins (49-24-9, second in the Atlantic Division during the regular season) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (47-31-4, fifth in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season)
Columbus, Ohio; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EDT
EASTERN CONFERENCE SECOND ROUND: Series tied 1-1
BOTTOM LINE: The Boston Bruins visit the Columbus Blue Jackets for game three of the Eastern Conference second round with the series tied 1-1. The teams meet Tuesday for the sixth time this season. The Blue Jackets won the previous matchup 3-2 in overtime. Artemi Panarin scored a team-high two goals for the Blue Jackets in the victory.
The Blue Jackets are 31-19-2 in conference matchups. Columbus has given up 30 power-play goals, killing 85 percent of opponent chances.
The Bruins are 29-19-4 in Eastern Conference play. Boston averages 9.7 penalty minutes per game, the second-most in the league. Brad Marchand leads the team serving 96 total minutes.
TOP PERFORMERS: Josh Anderson leads the Blue Jackets with a plus-25 in 82 games played this season. Panarin has five goals and eight assists over the last 10 games for Columbus.
Marchand has collected 100 total points while scoring 36 goals and totaling 64 assists for the Bruins. Charlie Coyle has five goals and two assists over the last 10 games for Boston.
DURING THE PLAYOFFS: Bruins: Averaging 3.1 goals, 4.7 assists, 2.8 penalties and 5.6 penalty minutes while giving up 2.4 goals per game with a .923 save percentage.
Blue Jackets: Averaging 4.0 goals, 6.3 assists, 3.0 penalties and 8.5 penalty minutes while giving up 2.2 goals per game with a .930 save percentage.
Blue Jackets Injuries: Markus Nutivaara: day to day (upper body).
Bruins Injuries: Kevan Miller: out (upper body), John Moore: day to day (upper body).