Mitch's Sports Report: Bruins Trail Early, But Make Up For It Fast In Win Over Columbus
The Boston Bruins gave up the first goal of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, but responded quickly by putting up four unanswered of their own in a 9 minute stretch of the first period and road that wave to a 5-2 win at TD Garden.
Most gratifying for coach Claude Julien had to be the goal contributions from his third line of Matt Beleskey, Riley Nash, and rookie Austin Czarnik, which was dubbed the "zero sum line" for its pointless streak through most of the first twelve games of the season. That's a nickname you don't want following you around if you're a forward, kind of on par with calling a goalie "red light", but Beleskey scored last night and added an assist, along with a goal and a helper from Czarnik, who finished off a gorgeous two on one by taking a deft backhand saucer pass from Nash and one-timing it past Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
Torey Krug scored his first goal of the season on a slap shot from the point to even the game at one, and David Backes tallied Boston's fifth goal of the night. Despite struggles in nearly every facet of the game early this season, the Bruins have now won for the fifth time in seven games, and beat a Blue Jackets team that had been on a roll, winning eight out nine coming in, although they had played the previous night while the Bruins were rested, so a fatigue factor needs to be taken into account. Tuukka Rask had a relatively easy night in net, needing to make just 15 saves to improve his record to 8-1 on the year.
If you're a team on the road, the last place you want to play these days is the Bell Centre. The Montreal Canadiens are still unbeaten at home in all nine games they've hosted, including a 4-1 win over the L.A. Kings last night. The nine straight home wins to start the season ties a Montreal franchise record dating back to 1953 and the days of Rocket Richard. Phillip Danault scored Montreal's third goal of the game, rewarding a move by coach Michel Therrien to replace David Desharnais at center with Danault after the former had gone nine games without a point. Paul Byron and Daniel Carr also scored for the Habs, with Alex Galchenyuk adding an empty netter and Carey Price made 23 saves to get the win in net.
To the NFL, and the Cleveland Browns streak is intact. It's not a good one, but at least you can't fault the winless sons of Paul Brown for being inconsistent. After getting blown out 28-7 to the Baltimore Ravens last night, Cleveland is now 0-10 and getting close to tying the record for football futility set by the Detroit Lions, who went 0-16 in 2008. The Browns actually led at half time, but couldn't stand their good fortune and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco picked apart the Browns secondary in the second half, throwing three touchdowns to improve Baltimore to 5-4 on the season.