BOSTON — Milan Lucic stole a game for the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
The big left winger blocked a Cam Atkinson shot inside the Boston zone, caught up to the puck and scored on a breakaway with 48.6 seconds left to give the Bruins their fourth straight victory, a 3-2 decision over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Lucic beat Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky between the pads for his eighth goal of the season, allowing the Bruins to finish off a 4-0-1 homestand.
The goal made a winner of backup goalie Chad Johnson, making his first home start (third overall) for the Bruins. Johnson (2-1) made 12 saves in the third period and two in the overtime.
The Blue Jackets played well but lost for the seventh time in their last eight games, the last two in overtime.
Bobrovsky, the 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner, made 28 saves.
Right wingers Loui Eriksson (third goal of the year, two against Columbus) and Shawn Thornton scored for the Bruins in regulation, and left wingers Blake Comeau and Nick Foligno scored for the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 12:48 of the first period when center Mark Letestu out-skated Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara and Joey Hamilton to the puck, negating an icing, and centered it to Comeau. Chara’s flip from the left point then went off Eriksson’s skate to tie the score with 1:50 left in the period.
The teams traded goals again in the second period, this time in the opposite order. Thornton took his third shot from the same spot on the same shift. This time, the puck hit defenseman Jack Johnson’s stick on the way and went over the shoulder of Bobrovsky at 10:09. But Columbus got that one back when Johnson left a bad rebound and Foligno scored at 16:34.
Johnson made two big stops four minutes into the third period and another after a penalty kill midway through the final period, keeping the score tied.
The Bruins killed off four more power plays (two in the third period) and have 26 straight kills in the last seven games.
NOTES: Bruins D Adam McQuaid missed his second straight game with an undisclosed leg injury and still isn’t skating. “He’s still day to day and I don’t know whether we’re going to take him on the trip,” said coach Claude Julien, whose team opens a three-game trip at Ottawa on Friday night. … Columbus hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night. … Former Bruins RW Nathan Horton, who signed a mega-contract with Columbus, is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and isn’t slated to be ready in time for his new team’s other visit to Boston on Nov. 30. That would mean he would miss all three 2013-14 games against the Bruins. … Two members of the Slovakian National team were on hand, with Chara and Columbus RW Marian Gaborik the focus of their visit. … Letestu played in his 200th NHL game on the fourth anniversary of his first, also against Boston. He set up the game’s first goal. C/LW Derek McKenzie also assisted on the goal, his first assist of the season.
Kings 3, Islanders 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Center Tyler Toffoli scored with 1:27 left in the third period on Thursday night to cap a three-goal, third-period comeback by the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Toffoli was credited with the goal when defensemen Jake Muzzin’s shot from the blue line clipped off his stick and trickled past Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin.
Defenseman Slava Voynov and left winger Tanner Pearson scored earlier in the period for the Kings (12-6-1), who won two days after losing goalie Jonathan Quick to a Grade 2 groin strain.
Goalie Ben Scrivens, making just his second start of the year, had 23 saves for the Kings.
Center Casey Cizikas and defenseman Aaron Ness scored in the second period for the Islanders, who lost a game in which they led for the seventh time this year and blew a two-goal lead for the third time. New York (7-10-3) has lost five of its last six (1-5-0).
Poulin, making a third straight start for the second time in his career, carried a shutout into the third period for the second game in a row and finished with 21 saves.
The Kings had 10 of the first 12 shots in a scoreless first period, but it was the Islanders who came closest to scoring when Scrivens skated out of the net to clear the puck with under three minutes to play. He fired it around the back of the net, but Cizikas picked up the loose puck and almost beat Scrivens as he dashed back to the goal.
Cizikas didn’t have to wait long to actually get on the board in the second period when he broke free of a scrum along the boards, followed the puck in front of the goalmouth and put back a kick save by Scrivens for his first goal of the season.
The Islanders benefited from a hustle play a little more than two minutes later when right winger Kyle Okposo stuck his stick out to slow down defenseman Drew Doughty as he closed in on a loose puck along the right side. Center John Tavares, trailing the play, picked up the puck and fired to Hess, whose shot sailed into the lower left corner of the net.
The Kings’ frustration appeared to build as the period continued. Left winger Dwight King and center Anze Kopitar were both penalized for goalie interference after crashing into Poulin. Kopitar slammed Poulin on to the ice, which led the Islanders’ enforcer, left winger Matt Martin, to grab Kopitar off the ice and pull him up before referees intervened.
In addition, Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr exchanged shoves with Islanders right winger Cal Clutterbuck as the two skated behind the Kings’ net. Regehr’s final shove was so forceful that he managed to knock off his own helmet.
Los Angeles cut the lead in half 5:34 into the third period when Voynov shed two defensemen, passed to Kopitar and wriggled free to the right of the Islanders’ net, where he snuck a shot under Poulin’s armpit.
The Kings tied it on a power play goal by Tanner Pearson with 7:45 left. His shot was initially slowed down by Poulin, but the puck trickled over the red line before Poulin could smother it.