January 15, 2020 / 2:59 AM / 6 days ago

Merzlikins, Jackets blank Bruins; Rask injured

Rookie Elvis Merzlikins made 34 saves to record his second shutout in as many games as the host Columbus Blue Jackets skated to a 3-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

Jan 14, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins (90) makes a save from the shot of Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Merzlikins, 25, answered a 27-save performance in Columbus’ 3-0 victory on Saturday versus Vegas by turning aside all 13 shots he faced in the third period to preserve his second career shutout.

Alexander Wennberg scored his second goal in as many contests and Kevin Stenlund and Riley Nash also tallied for the Blue Jackets, who improved to 12-2-4 in their last 18 games.

Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves in relief of an injured Tuukka Rask for the Bruins, whose first shutout of the season resulted in their fifth loss in eight games (3-2-3).

Rask was injured 1:12 into the game after he was hit in the head by the left glove of Emil Bemstrom, who was being pushed from behind from Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo. The former Vezina Trophy recipient remained on the ice for several moments before retreating to the locker room. He did not return to the contest.

The Bruins saw their franchise-record 14-game streak with at least one power-play goal come to a halt after going 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Columbus drew first blood as Nathan Gerbe gained possession of the puck just inside the blue line and wired a sharp pass to rookie defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, who quickly fed Wennberg. The 25-year-old Swede gained a stride on Boston defenseman John Moore before wiring a low shot from the inner edge of the right circle that sailed between the pads of Halak with 6:33 remaining in the first period.

The Blue Jackets made Boston pay for Brad Marchand’s high-sticking penalty and doubled its advantage 5:46 into the third period. Captain Nick Foligno, who was stationed behind the net, set up Stenlund’s one-timer from the right circle for his fourth goal of the season.

Nash provided insurance with 6:55 remaining in the third period after skating up the left wing before wristing a shot from the circle past Halak.

—Field Level Media

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