Blue Jackets-Bruins Preview

The Associated Press

The Boston Bruins feel they got back to their style to hockey in continuing their success at home.

They have also won five straight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who visit Saturday night in search of their first back-to-back wins in over a month.

Boston (17-7-2) won 3-2 at home over the New York Rangers on Friday, bouncing back from Wednesday's 6-1 defeat in Detroit that was its worst loss of the season.

"We've talked about it that we just have to bounce back and go back to playing our game," center Patrice Bergeron said. "I think (Thursday's) practice was exactly what we needed to get back to basics, I guess, and just moving our feet, playing hard and I thought we've done that today."

The Bruins' style involves limiting the opposition to a 2.00 goals-against average that ties Montreal for the NHL's best mark. That's exactly the formula they employed Friday, as Tuukka Rask was only called upon to make 17 saves.

The only contest in Boston's 8-0-2 run at home which has featured more than five goals was Monday's 4-3 overtime win over Pittsburgh.

Low-scoring games have happened in both meetings against Columbus (10-13-3), with the Bruins winning 3-1 on the road Oct. 12 and 3-2 in overtime at home Nov. 14. Rask and backup Chad Johnson each started once.

While the Bruins held a 36-27 edge in shots in the first meeting, the Blue Jackets finished with a 34-31 advantage in that category the second time around.

Columbus has gone 1 for 8 on the power play in the season series, and Boston ranks among the NHL's best on the penalty kill at 86.4 percent.

Friday's win was also highlighted by Zdeno Chara's 'Gordie Howe hat trick' in which he scored, had an assist and was also involved in a fight. The fight was the most talked-about event of the three, as the defenseman earned his first fighting major of the season after squaring off with Brian Boyle.

"I feel it's been a while since the last time we've had a fight like that," Rask said. "It usually happens in the blink of an eye. It gives a team a boost and really wakes up a crowd, a crowd gets really loud."

Another defenseman, Dennis Seidenberg, was back in the lineup after missing four games due to a lower-body injury.

The Blue Jackets are seeking their first set of consecutive wins since a three-game winning streak Oct. 20-25. They built a four-goal lead after two periods in Friday's 4-2 home win over Edmonton.

Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist. Although Columbus avenged a 7-0 loss to the Oilers last week, coach Todd Richards wasn't happy with how his team finished the game.

''I wanted to see us come out and continue to play a hard game (in the third) and make it difficult on them,'' Richards said. ''We went the opposite direction. We took some penalties and it gave them some life.''

Boston's Loui Eriksson has scored once in his last seven games, but has goals in each 2013-14 matchup against Columbus.

Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky is expected to miss his sixth straight game with a foot injury.

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