BOSTON - Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Patrice Bergeron at point-blank range in overtime. He also made an acrobatic save to stop a 90-foot (27-meter) dump-in that took a bad hop straight toward the net.
Whatever the shot, the Blue Jackets goalie was ready.
“There’s not many goalies that stop that puck,” said Matt Duchene, who scored at 3:42 of the second overtime to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins early Sunday morning and tie the series at one game apiece.
“It should’ve been over right there. Honestly, on a dump-in, which is insane,” Duchene said. “That guy — anything’s possible. He’s something else.”
Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots — 10 of them to hold off the Bruins in a frantic first overtime — and Artemi Panarin had two goals and an assist on the game-winner for Columbus, which fell behind twice.
Matt Grzelcyk and David Pastrnak scored for Boston, which won the opener 3-2 — also in overtime. Tuukka Rask made 36 saves.
“We’re so evenly matched, I find, with the way we both play and there’s not much room out there. There’s no one really taking over the game,” Duchene said. “It’s such a stalemate out there and I’m not surprised it went to overtime back-to-back games.”
And now the Blue Jackets are heading back to Columbus, where they have already finished off the No. 1 team in the NHL this season. Games 3 and 4 are Tuesday and Thursday nights.
“I hope they have a ball tonight,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “And they should, they should feel really good about themselves.”
Panarin’s second goal made it 2-2 with 12 minutes left in the second period, and it stayed that way through a scoreless third and a first overtime in which the Bruins killed off one penalty. But when Bergeron was sent off for tripping in the second OT, the Blue Jackets made them pay.
Less than a minute later, Duchene kicked the puck onto his stick and slid it through Rask’s legs. As the Columbus players celebrated against the boards, the Bruins filed off the ice and many fans threw the giveaway yellow towels onto the ice.
Stars 4, Blues 2
In St. Louis, Dallas goalie Ben Bishop rebounded at his hometown team’s expense.
Bishop made 32 saves, Roope Hintz scored twice and the Stars beat the Blues in Game 2 to even the Western Conference semifinal series.
Bishop grew up in St. Louis and often attended Blues games. He recalled chanting Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ed Belfour’s name as a teenager in the stands. St. Louis fans did the same thing to Bishop on Saturday, screaming his name to try and throw him off his game.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Bishop said. “I was that kid screaming Belfour’s name and then you’re on the ice and they’re screaming your name. Never in a million years when I was watching playoff games as a kid here that I’d be in the net playing against the Blues. Obviously, it’s kind of cool.”
Miro Heiskanen and Mattias Janmark also scored for the Stars.