COLUMBUS — The Boston Bruins scored two early goals and added two in the third period to beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 Thursday night to even the second-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Dublin native Sean Kuraly knocked home a Diego Chara rebound at 8:40 of the third period, giving the Bruins a two-goal lead that was too much for the Jackets to overcome on a night when Tuukka Rask was dialed in despite a Nationwide Arena-record crowd of 19,431.
After scoring just one goal in the prior five periods plus a few minutes of overtime entering Game 4, the Bruins got on the board early. It came on their third shot and courtesy of David Pastrnack, who had just been leveled at mid-ice by Adam Clendening. The goal came at 3:33, beating Sergei Bobrovsky from the left dot and sneaking between his right arm and leg.
It got worse for the Jackets moments later, when Alexandre Texier was called for tripping Torey Krug in the offensive zone at 6:38. Fourteen seconds into the penalty kill, though, Boone Jenner sprung free along the right flank, cut in on Tuukka Rask and was tripped by Brad Marchand on the breakaway at 6:52.
Jenner was awarded a penalty shot, but he sent it off Rask’s shoulder. Still with the man advantage, Boston doubled its lead at 7:18 when Patrice Bergeron scored an unassisted goal for a 2-0 lead on his team’s eighth shot of the game.
The Jackets then answered, albeit controversially. After a Seth Jones shot appeared to deflect off the netting behind the Bruins’ goal but play was not whistled dead, it made its way to Artemi Panarin, who buried it from the left slot at 8:46 of the first. The Jackets poured it on for the rest of the period, but it remained a 2-1 Boston lead entering the first intermission.
The Bruins capped the scoring on a Bergeron goal in front of the net at 2:30 of the third.
Blue Jackets forward Riley Nash was announced as an injury scratch shortly before the game. No specific injury was listed and his status was announced as day-to-day. Texier replaced him in the lineup.
Game 5 will take place at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Boston’s TD Garden.