Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand scored right off a faceoff in the second period Tuesday night to cut the Columbus Blue Jackets’ lead to 5-4.
There’s a reason for the ease of his goal.
The Blue Jackets didn’t have the right number of players on the ice.
It was a 5-on-5 situation after Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made a glove save to freeze play.
But the Blue Jackets put out only four players on the ice for the ensuing faceoff: Boone Jenner, Riley Nash, Zach Werenski and Seth Jones. A forward was missing.
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron’s faceoff win went straight to Marchand, who ripped a shot past Bobrovsky for his second goal of the game and 30th of the season.
The Bruins, who had trailed 5-1, were down by one heading into the second intermission.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, once he realized the mistake, was pretty animated. He said, “I’m not talking about it,” after the game.
Werenski told reporters he noticed the team was short-handed right as the puck was being dropped.
“I turned around to tell Nasher that we were going to go short side,” he said. “Usually I tell two forwards. When I turned around, I was like, ‘Is he behind me?’ I thought he was maybe following me.
“Once I realized it, the puck was down and the puck was in our net. I’ve never seen that before. I probably won’t ever see it again. But it happens, I guess.”
But the gaffe didn’t cost the Blue Jackets. Werenski scored a power-play goal in the third period and Jenner scored an empty-netter for a hat trick and a 7-4 win that kept Columbus still holding onto the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
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The goal was Werenski’s first in 30 games.
“It’s a big goal,” Tortorella said. “We faced a little adversity, them coming back. I thought we answered really well in the third period. That’s a big goal for us, obviously.”