The saying goes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Except on Saturday night at TD Garden, Milan Lucic was both.
The bruising power forward was energetic and engaged for the duration, helping to propel the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
But Lucic also had a little bit of fortune on his side. He scored two goals – his 10th and 11th of the season – one a Torey Krug shot that deflected off of his leg and the other a shot of his own that tipped off of a Columbus defender in front of the net.
“Two goals without getting a real direct shot at the net,” said Lucic. “One they tipped it and hit off me and in, and the other one they tipped it again and it went up and over everyone and into the back of the net.
“Sometimes they go in like that. Fortunately, I had some puck luck here tonight.”
Lucic also showed his physical side, delivering a game-high six hits and dropping the gloves with Dalton Prout for his first fighting major of the season.
“It’s just one of those things that happens,” said Lucic of the fight at 8:34 of the second period. “It’s really the first time I’ve been challenged and had a willing combatant. Before that the game was getting a little chippy, so I think it kind of calmed it down after that.”
Patrice Bergeron tallied the game’s first goal at 9:02 of the first period, before Lucic made it 2-0 – on the power play – just under six minutes later.
David Krejci spun off the boards and got the puck back to Krug at the middle of blue line. Krug then fired a slapshot that deflected off of Lucic’s leg and into the net.
“I went all of last season without a power play goal, so it’s kind of nice to get one on the power play,” Lucic said.
The second goal was even flukier. Lucic let one rip from the slot and the puck hit off of a defender in front, popped up into the air and fell into the net. It appeared for a moment that Jarome Iginla may have batted it past Columbus goalie Curtis McElhinney, but the goal was awarded to Lucic.
The tally meant that there would not be a second straight Gordie Howe hat trick for the Bruins – Zdeno Chara had the fifth of his career against the Rangers on Friday.
“I thought maybe Iggy got a piece of it, but I’ll take it,” said Lucic. “It would have been nice to have gotten the Gordie, especially after Zee got it yesterday. But you’re not going to complain with a goal over an assist.
“It was just one of those nights where I ended up having puck luck on both goals.”
The Bruins have won two straight after getting trounced, 6-1, by the Red Wings on Wednesday night.
“It was nice to see. We talked after the Detroit game about turning this into a positive week anyway,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “You take a bad loss and you turn it into a positive thing and the positive thing is we won three out of four games this week.
“I liked the way we played our last two games. Now we’ve got a little bit of a break here. It’s a good time to have that kind of performance from your team, the last two days.”
The Bruins don’t play again until Thursday in Montreal. It will be the first meeting of the year between the storied rivals.
The Bruins have now garnered a point in 11 straight home games, their longest such stretch since they won 14 consecutive games at TD Garden from Oct. 25, 2008 to Jan. 1, 2009. During the current streak, they are 9-0-2.
AROUND THE RINK
Bergeron’s goal gave him goals in consecutive games. He also scored during the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Rangers on Friday…Bergeron won 14 of 19 faceoffs…The Bruins allowed just 14 shots and backup goalie Chad Johnson, in for Tuukka Rask, stopped 13 of them for his fourth win of the season…David Krejci had two assists for his fourth multi-point game of the year…The Bruins were 1 for 6 on the power play…Brad Marchand was involved in a couple of scrums, showing a bit more of his usual scowl…Nick Foligno was not pleased with a hit from Dennis Seidenberg and went after the Bruins defenseman late in the second. Foligno was being held back by a linesman and tried to toss him out of the way to get to Seidenberg. Foligno was given a 10-minute misconduct and a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct…Johnny Boychuk fired a game-high five shots on goal.