BOSTON – Anton Stralman’s stick helped Columbus at both ends of the ice in the closing minutes against the Boston Bruins.
The defenceman appeared to clip teammate Derick Brassard in the face with his stick at one end, only to have referee Dean Morton call a double-minor on Boston’s Milan Lucic. Fifteen seconds later, Stralman’s slap shot was tipped in by R.J. Umberger with 1:16 remaining, giving the Blue Jackets a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Thursday night.
“I’m not going to comment too much on that, that’s called human error,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team lost its third straight and sixth in the last seven. “It’s unfortunate and it’s what it is. It’s human error.”
The penalty came after the Bruins had a scoring chance that was stopped by Steve Mason, who froze the puck. Lucic was spun away from the crowd and replays showed a blue stick, belonging to Stralman, hitting Brassard, apparently drawing blood.
“I definitely didn’t feel like my stick got up,” Lucic said. “I felt like it was below my waist the whole time.
“We can complain about it all we want but (Morton) went by what he felt like he saw on the ice and he went with his decision.”
The Blue Jackets, rallying from a 2-1 third-period deficit, won for only the third time in their last 19 road games and did it with the players’ fathers along on the trip.
“Our dads liked it too,” said Antoine Vermette, who tied the game with a stuff-in shot 7:16 into the third period – after he had a goal disallowed in the second period because he kicked it in.
“Obviously, it helped getting that power play for the winning goal,” Mason said. “But we had a bad break with the disallowed goal and maybe that was our evening out.”
The undermanned Bruins, 1-5-1 in their last seven home games and playing without five regulars, had chances to widen a 2-1 lead in the third period. Just 1:20 into the period, David Krejci missed a wide-open net, shooting high and then putting both gloves up to his head in frustration.
Michael Ryder and Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Chris Clark scored in between for the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets came into the game having surrendered a goal in 2:29 or less in each of their five previous games. The Bruins needed 2:11 to get on the board.
Trent Whitfield, one of the call-ups filling in on the depleted roster, came down the left side on a 2-on-1 and fed Ryder going through the slot. Ryder, who had gone nine games without a goal, scored his second in the last three games.
Columbus got that back at 12:23 with the help of Dennis Wideman, the target of the TD Garden boo birds after being criticized in the press by Julien, fanned on the puck at centre ice.
Raffi Torres picked it up and fed Clark, and the former Washington captain scored his second goal in 13 games with his new team.
Bergeron, playing his second game after missing six with a broken right thumb, beat Mason with an off-speed 35-footer to give the Bruins the lead at 6:40 of the second period.
The Jackets thought they had tied the score on the power play with 5:32 left in the period as Vermette had Brassard’s pass go off his right skate and beat Rask. The play was reviewed and the goal was waved off.
NOTES: Bruins were missing Marc Savard, Marco Sturm Andrew Ference, Steve Begin and Byron Bitz, bringing the number of manpower games lost to injury and illness to 105 Russell suffered a cut on his face late in the first period when he was hit with a puck flipped up by Boston’s Miroslav Satan. The play came just seconds after teammate Jakub Voracek appeared to get cut on a hard check by Boston’s Mark Stuart. Both returned for the second period Bergeron, playing with a protective splint, isn’t taking many faceoffs (one in the first two periods Thursday) but will be seeing a doctor soon to see if he will be able to increase his workload Defenceman Mike Commodore, out one game with an injury, returned to the Blue Jackets’ lineup.