BOSTON -- Milan Lucic picked a perfect time for a career first, scoring his first overtime goal as the Boston Bruins edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Thursday.
"It's my first overtime goal that I've ever scored; and it ends up being a big one (in) the last game of this homestand, which ends up being a successful one," the big left winger said after he blocked a shot and caught up to the puck before scoring on a breakaway with 48.6 seconds left in overtime.
Lucic, scoring his team-leading eighth goal of the season, blocked winger Cam Atkinson's shot inside the Boston zone, caught up to the puck and beat goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky between the pads for the winner.
It looked like Bobrovsky might have been better off charging out at the puck, cutting Lucic off before he had a chance to shoot.
"I was hoping he would stay in the net ... fortunately for us he didn't and fortunately for myself he didn't," said Lucic, who already has one more goal than he scored in 46 games last season. "I had a chance there and tried to bury it and fortunately enough I did it."
The Bruins ended their homestand at 4-0-1.
"We're very happy about this," said left winger Brad Marchand. "We really kind of turned a corner and we're playing a lot better. We didn't have our best game, but we got the win, and that's what matters."
The Lucic goal made a winner of backup goalie Chad Johnson, making his first home start (third overall) for the Bruins. Johnson (2-1) made 12 saves in the third period and two in the overtime (32 in the game).
"That was nice," he said of the home debut, "especially in the third when I made a couple of saves and you could hear the fans get behind you; it's pretty cool, especially in this arena and with these fans, it's pretty special."
He said he started the game "a little rusty" but it was clear he got better as the game went on, which came in handy because his defense was shoddy in the third period.
"Sometimes you've gotta fake it every now and then," he said of his start.
Bobrovsky, the 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner, made 28 saves.
The Blue Jackets, who played well, especially in the third period and the OT, lost for the seventh time in the last eight games -- the last two in overtime.
"We did some great things in this game that we can build off," said Columbus center Ryan Johansen, who hit a post and was also robbed by Johnson. "They are a great team over there and they played us hard and we played them hard; we just came short with a point.
Right wingers Loui Eriksson (third goal of the year, two against Columbus) and Shawn Thornton (No. 2) scored for the Bruins in regulation, and left wingers Blake Comeau (No. 2) and Nick Foligno (No. 4, on a bad rebound from Johnson) scored for the Blue Jackets.
"We've got to be ready for tomorrow (Friday against Montreal in Columbus)," Johansen said. "It's over and it's done with, we'll look at some video in the morning of things that we can do better at and fix and then we have to be ready for a big start against Montreal."
"It feels the same. It's still an empty feeling," Todd Richards on coming away with one point in a loss. "You know, there were a lot of good things in the third period, but it's still the result. You know, we need to win games and we needed two points here not just one."
The Bruins killed off four more power plays (two in the third period) and have 26 straight kills in the last seven games.
NOTES: Bruins D Adam McQuaid missed his second straight game with an undisclosed leg injury and still isn't skating. "He's still day to day and I don't know whether we're going to take him on the trip," said coach Claude Julien, whose team opens a three-game trip at Ottawa on Friday night. ... Former Bruins RW Nathan Horton, who signed a mega-contract with Columbus, is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and isn't slated to be ready in time for his new team's other visit to Boston on Nov. 30. That would mean he would miss all three 2013-14 games against the Bruins. ... Two members of the Slovakian National Team management were on hand, with Bruins D Zdeno Chara and Columbus RW Marian Gaborik the focus of their visit. ... C Mark Letestu played in his 200th NHL game on the fourth anniversary of his first, also against Boston. He set up the game's first goal. C/LW Derek McKenzie also assisted on the goal, his first assist of the season.