Talking Points: DeBrusk responds to challenge

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GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk does a good job of responding when challenged, and that happened again on Monday night as he popped up with a three-point night after a career-low amount of ice time against the Rangers last weekend. DeBrusk notched the playmaking, primary assists on both of the power play goals in the second period, including the eventual game-winner to Charlie McAvoy on a sweet, cross-ice seam pass right in front of the net. DeBrusk finished with a goal, three points, a plus-2 rating and four shots on net in 12:03 of ice time. The fact that kind of performance came against a heavy, rugged Blue Jackets group just added even more to what the 21-year-old did in one of his best games of the season.

BLACK EYE: It felt like it was more the fault of the defense in front of him than Sergei Bobrovsky himself given that the Blue Jackets were peppered for 45 shots, but giving up seven goals is a tough night at the office by any standard for Sergei Bobrovsky. It really collapsed in the third period when he allowed a knuckling Torey Krug shot to glance off his glove and into the net, and was part of a sequence where four goals got past Bobrovsky to turn it into a laugher of a hockey game. Just on tonight alone, Bobrovsky’s goals against average jumped from 2.27 to 2.44 and his save percentage dropped from .923 to .919 save percentage.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins played a strong, dominant first period where Brad Marchand got on the board with the game’s first goal, and the B’s once again ended up on the winning side once they got the advantage. The Bruins outshot the Blue Jackets by a 16-7 margin in that first period, and could have had another goal if Tim Schaller had been able to convert on an open net of a Sean Kuraly rebound. As it was, the Bruins improved to 11-1-3 in the 15 games where they’ve scored the first goal this season. When the opponent scores first, they are 5-9-2 on the season.

HONORABLE MENTION: You have to give it to Charlie McAvoy for standing up for himself and dropping the gloves with fellow first-round pick Pierre-Luc Dubois for his first NHL fight, and that led its way to his first Gordie Howe hat trick. The fight was actually a pretty impressive one for McAvoy, who got a couple of punches in before scoring the takedown against the big-bodied forward. It was also part of a night where he scored the game-winning goal, finished with two points, a plus-2 rating, four hits and a blocked shot in 19:41 of ice time. McAvoy said afterward that the fight happened quickly, but you get the sense he’ll be able to defend himself at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the season-high for goals for the Bruins on Monday night after previously notching six goals through different times through the first couple of months this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think he's 1-0 in this league now, so good for him.” – Bruce Cassidy, on Charlie McAvoy dropping the gloves for his first NHL fight and collecting a Gordie Howe hat trick as a 19-year-old rookie. 

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