Looking to build off of a dominant 8-1 win against the New Jersey Devils from Thursday night, the Boston Bruins clawed their way back from a 2-1 deficit en route to a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday at TD Garden.
Erik Haula (two goals) and Brad Marchand (goal, two assists) led the way offensively for the Bruins. Jeremy Swayman stopped 22 of 24 shots en route to his 20th win of the season.
Here’s what we learned from Boston’s second victory of the season over Columbus.
Foligno honored for 1,000th game
Foligno played in his 1,000th game on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks on Mar. 15. The Bruins honored the veteran winger’s accomplishment before puck drop against his former Blue Jacket teammates.
“I think it’s just something that my family and I will appreciate,” said Foligno, who served as a team captain for six of his nine seasons in Columbus. “It’s a great way to remember this amazing night and this amazing journey so far.”
The ceremony included a tribute video with messages from former teammates and family, as well as gifts from the Bruins. Foligno’s wife, kids and his father, Mike, also joined in on the festivities.
Mike and Nick Foligno are just the second father-son duo — along with Bobby and Bretty Hull — to play 1,000 games each.
Along with the Bruins and Blue Jackets, Foligno also spent time with the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs across his 1,000 games.
Foligno finished Saturday’s outing with three shots and five hits in 9:37 of ice time.
Haula continues post-deadline hot streak
Boston’s second-line center potted two goals, including the game-winner on the power-play with just 3:54 remaining in the third period.
Haula opened the scoring at 15:09 of the first period after burying a rebound amid a scramble in front of the net.
Haula tipped in Brandon Carlo’s shot in the final seconds of the Bruins’ power-play to put them ahead for good late in regulation.
With his two-goal outing, Haula now has ten points (four goals, six assists) in the six games following the Mar. 21 trade deadline.
“It is nice when you know this is our team,” Haula said regarding his post-deadline mindset. “That’s ultimately out of my control and now just put the foot on the gas and try to do something special.”
After struggling to generate offensively in a bottom-six role at the beginning of the season (25GP, 1-4), Haula’s production has ramped up substantially since moving up the second line between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak, notching 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points over his last 40 games.
“I try to put them in spots where they can use that skill and they can use that speed, and I think that’s worked well for me,” Haula said. “Try to create space but then also being part of it as well.”
Bruins still searching for stability on bottom defensive pair
Head coach Bruce Cassidy went back to the pairing of Mike Reilly and Derek Forbort on Saturday following a strong pairing of Reilly and Josh Brown against the Devils.
Earlier this week against Toronto, the Bruins sent out Forbort and Conor Clifton in a third-pairing role. Each of the Bruins’ ‘bottom-four’ D played one game this week before Cassidy turned to the duo of Reilly and Forbort, who spent some time together earlier this year.
The Reilly-Forbort pairing didn’t last long. About halfway through the game, Cassidy moved Reilly on his strong side with Carlo and assigned Forbort with Matt Grzelcyk.
“[Reilly’s] been left most of this year,” Cassidy said. “It’s going to be a challenge at times.”
Cassidy will continue to juggle the likes of Forbort, Reilly, Clifton, and Brown until he finds the best combination.
“If that’s the best six, if [Reilly’s] on the right with Forbort, then we’re going to look at that,” Cassidy added. “I don’t know what that’ll be going forward.”
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