Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Milan Lucic's breakaway goal with 48.6 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Boston Bruins to a fourth straight victory, a 3-2 decision over the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden.
Chad Johnson helped extend Boston's streak with a sharp 32-save effort between the pipes, with Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton collecting goals in regulation for the Bruins.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots in the loss, the seventh in eight games and sixth in a row on the road for the Blue Jackets. Blake Comeau and Nick Foligno accounted for the lone Columbus goals.
"It's still an empty feeling, said Columbus head coach Todd Richards about earning a point. "There were a lot of good things in the third period, but it's still the result. You know, we need to win games and we need two points here, not just one."
Following a scoreless third period that carried over into the initial four minutes of overtime, Lucic prevented the game from entering a shootout with an outstanding defensive play in his own zone. The physical forward blocked a shot attempt by the Blue Jackets' Cam Atkinson, then cradled the loose puck and raced down the ice uncontested before sliding a shot between Bobrovsky's pads for the clincher.
"When I saw him go on a breakaway, I put my head down and I was like 'Oh, please score,' because these are points we need," said Johnson. "There's always teams you think you should get points off of, and we really wanted to get the two points tonight."
Boston was able to send the contest into extra time largely behind Johnson, who was up to the task when Columbus outshot the Bruins by a 9-2 count while dominating the first 10 minutes of the third period. Boston also killed off an interference penalty to Brad Marchand with 7:24 left to preserve the 2-2 deadlock.
"He made some huge saves in the third and kept us in it," said Marchand of Johnson. "He did a great job today."
Columbus opened the scoring with 7:12 left in the first period, when Mark Letestu beat Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the puck deep in the Boston zone and sent a no-look drop pass that Comeau buried while left all alone in front.
Zdeno Chara's long drive from near the blue line that deflected off Eriksson's left skate and in knotted the score with 1:50 remaining in the opening session, and the Bruins moved ahead midway through the second period.
Taking in a feed from Gregory Campbell, Thornton wound up and fired a shot from the right wing that caromed off Columbus' Jack Johnson and sailed over Bobrovsky's shoulder for his second goal of the season.
Foligno, who had missed three of the Jackets' last four games while tending to a family matter, pulled his team even by following up his own rebound with a successful backhand attempt 3:26 prior to the second intermission.
After holding Columbus to an 0-for-4 night on the power play, the Bruins have now killed off 26 straight penalties dating back to ct. 30 at Pittsburgh ... Boston defenseman Torey Krug assisted on Thornton's goal to extend his point streak to five games ... Letestu skated in his 200th NHL game ... Boston has now won the last five meetings between the new Eastern Conference cohorts, including a 3-1 verdict in Columbus on Oct. 12.