Early Turnovers Cost Bruins in Double OT Loss to Blue Jackets

The best-of-seven series is now tied at one with Game 3 Tuesday in Columbus

The Bruins were their own worst enemies in Game 2.

A pair of sloppy turnovers by Boston in the second period was all the Columbus Blue Jackets needed to erase early deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 Saturday night at TD Garden.

The game’s next goal didn’t come until double overtime — a close-range power play strike by Matt Duchene that delivered a 3-2 victory for Columbus and knotted this hard-hitting second-round playoff series at one game apiece.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Columbus.

It was the second straight overtime contest for these teams. The loss also snapped a three-game winning streak for the Bruins, who found themselves with top penalty killer Patrice Bergeron in the box for tripping just minutes into double OT.

Duchene’s game-winner at 3:42 came off a point-shot rebound. Stationed at the top of the goal crease, the slick forward corralled the puck with his skate and then beat Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask with a quick shot between the legs.

Rask finished the game with 38 saves on 41 shots. Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky countered with 29 saves, while forward Artemi Panarin contributed two goals and an assist. Matt Grzelcyk and David Pastrnak were the goal scorers for the Bruins, who were out-shot 41-31.

The Bruins asserted themselves early, opening the game with several big hits — most notably a center-ice smackdown by captain Zdeno Chara that temporarily sent former Bruin Riley Nash to the Columbus locker room.

The hit promptly settled a score for Boston, who lost the services of David Krejci late in Thursday’s series opener when Nash leveled the crafty center on a clean but heavy check.

A game-time decision for Game 2, Krejci was ready to go at puck drop and assisted on the game’s opening goal by Grzelcyk with eight minutes gone in the first. Working the left point on the power play, Grzelcyk fired a shot from the top of the circle that ricocheted off Bobrovsky’s glove and into the net.

It was the first man-advantage strike of the series for the Bruins, and one the Blue Jackets goaltender surely wanted back.

Any tone set by Boston early in the game was quickly squandered in an undisciplined but action-packed second period. High-flying Blue Jacket Panarin tied the game on the power play just 1:03 into the frame, rifling a low one-timer past Rask’s outstretched right pad.

The B’s wrestled back the lead less than a minute later on a fluky deflection off the skate of Pastrnak, only to see Panarin strike again with yet another equalizer as the teams skated four-on-four midway through the second.

Both goals against Boston were the direct result of backbreaking turnovers in the defensive zone, the first on a soft, unsuccessful clearing attempt by Chara and the second by Charlie Coyle on an inexcusable blind pass through the middle of the ice that Columbus wasted no time burying.

A failed three-minute man advantage for Boston immediately after the Blue Jackets’ second goal sealed the momentum shift.

The Bruins closed the second period out-shot 19-13 and thoroughly out-hustled. The B’s largely chased the remainder of play through an uneventful third period.

The first overtime featured a more even distribution of scoring chances and big saves by both Rask and Bobrovsky, with a hit post by Coyle the closest Boston came to winning the game.

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