The Blue Jackets continue to impress.
Once again, they looked like a cohesive and hyper-competitive team and took down the Boston Bruins by a 3-0 final at Nationwide Arena.
And yes, that would be back-to-back shutouts for rookie goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, who made 34 saves and looks every bit ready for the spotlight.
They now have wins in four of their last five games and just took three of four on their west coast road trip. Coming back home to beat a quality Bruins team is big-time stuff, and this team is showing a lot of really encouraging signs right now.
The Blue Jackets went right at the Bruins from the opening face-off, which is just how you have to play against these guys. Boston is a battle-tested veteran team that isn't easily rattled, but they're also used to being able to rattle opponents and get them off their game.
Credit the Blue Jackets for not taking the bait.
You had Nathan Gerbe throwing big checks and battling in the corner with Zdeno Chara. You had Emil Bemstrom be Public Enemy No. 1 for the Bruins after his apparently-accidental collision with Tuukka Rask in the game's opening minutes, which resulted in Rask leaving the game with an upper body injury.
This was an intense, physical game and the Blue Jackets were up for it. They got a goal from Alexander Wennberg in the first period, and tacked on a power play goal from Kevin Stenlund in the third – continuing a theme of the Swedes filling the net for Columbus. Wennberg has goals in consecutive games and Stenlund's goal was a beauty, set up by Nick Foligno behind the net. Stenlund ripped a hard shot from the right circle past Jaroslav Halak to push the Jackets' lead to 2-0.
Riley Nash chipped in with a key goal down the stretch, beating Halak high over the shoulder for a 3-0 Columbus lead. It was a feel-good goal for the former Bruin who hadn't yet scored against his former team since joining the Blue Jackets.
Yes, we know the list is long. The Blue Jackets are hopeful that forwards Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand, along with defenseman Andrew Peeke, will be returning to the lineup sooner than later. All three players joined the team for practice on the recent west coast road trip.
The Blue Jackets are home for the week, and they'll next face the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena. Game time is set for 7 p.m.