Boston (8-2-2) at Columbus (5-8-1)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Columbus, OH
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Nov 14, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

As Patrice Bergeron goes, so do the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins will try once again to follow their rookie’s lead when they meet the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Boston is 8-0-1 this season in games in which Bergeron has a point.

The 6-foot center scored the first goal, his fifth of the season, on the power play during the first period of Boston’s 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

“I’m just going out and working hard in every practice and every game,” said Bergeron, who is the youngest player in the league—born on July 24, 1985.

Bergeron, second among NHL rookies in scoring with five goals and 11 points, gave the Bruins the early lead they wanted.

“The key is to get the first goal, get off to a fast start,” Boston coach Mike Sullivan said.

Forward Joe Thornton agreed.

“Ten of the 14 games we’ve played, we let the other team score first,” Thornton said. “The key for this team is not letting that happen, not playing from behind.”

The Bruins are unbeaten in their last three (2-0-1), including a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped with a 5-2 loss at Ottawa on Thursday.

Columbus, which entered the game ranked second in the league in penalty killing, allowed a team-record five power-play goals. The Blue Jackets had allowed just five power-play goals in their first 14 games.

The Bruins lead the all-time series 2-1-0-1, including an 8-0 win on Feb. 4, 2002, in their last trip to Columbus.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 12): Bruins - 21 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Blue Jackets - 12 points, 4th place, 7 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Mike Knuble, 7 goals; Thornton, 13 assists and 16 points; Nick Boynton, 28 PIM. Blue Jackets - Rick Nash and David Vyborny, 9 goals; Todd Marchant, 8 assists; Vyborny, 13 points; Jody Shelley, 44 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 12): Bruins - Power play: 22.0 percent (11 for 50), 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.5 percent (51 for 65), 26th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 16.0 percent (13 for 81), 18th. Penalty killing: 90.4 percent (47 for 52), 2nd.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (5-2-1, 1 SO, 1.88 GAA); Felix Potvin (3-2-2, 1, 2.48). Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (5-6-1, 1, 2.07); Fred Brathwaite (0-3-0, 4.72).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 18; Bruins, 7-2. At Boston, Glen Murray, Jonathan Girard and P.J. Axelsson scored 2:48 apart in the second period and Boston was 3-for-6 on the power play. Columbus entered the game as the league’s best penalty-killing unit.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 6-1-1-1 on the road; Blue Jackets - 5-2-0-0 at home.

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