Charlie Coyle leads Bruins to OT win over Jackets
BOSTON (AP) — Charlie Coyle tied it in the final five minutes of regulation and scored again with 5:15 gone in overtime on Thursday night to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots for Boston, which took a 1-0 lead on Noel Acciari’s short-handed goal in the first period, but then fell behind in the third after Riley Nash and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored in a span of 13 seconds.
Coyle tied it when he one-timed a backhanded centering pass from Marcus Johansson into the net with 4:35 left to force overtime. He ended it in the extra period by deflecting a shot from Johansson into the net.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves for the Blue Jackets, who swept the Presidents Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Boston before the best-of-seven series moves to Columbus for Games 3 and 4.
The Blue Jackets were the last team to qualify for the NHL playoffs, then they knocked out the Lightning in four games for their first-ever playoff series victory. While Columbus waited more than a week for an opponent, Boston tangled with Toronto for seven games before finally advancing on Tuesday night.
But the Bruins didn’t seem tired, outshooting Columbus 12-1 early in the game and scoring short-handed midway through the first after Coyle was sent off for hooking. Acciari brought the puck into the zone with Joakim Nordstrom waiting for the centering pass, but Acciari snapped off a wrist shot that beat Bobrovsky on the stick side.
It remained 1-0 until Nash forced a turnover at the blue line and then deflected a shot from Seth Jones past Rask to tie the score with 12:21 left in regulation. The Blue Jackets were right back at it after the faceoff, bringing the puck the length of the ice from behind their own net before Artemi Panarin’s slap shot deflected off the back of Dubois’ leg and into the net.
Spurs 120, Nuggets 103
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points and DeMar DeRozan added 25 to help the San Antonio Spurs overcome Nikola Jokic’s 43 points and beat the Denver Nuggets 120-103 on Thursday night, forcing a Game 7 of the opening round series.
Jokic had 27 points in the second half to post the third highest point total this postseason behind the 50 by Portland’s Damian Lillard and the 45 by Golden State’s Kevin Durant. Jokic also finished with 12 rebounds and nine assists to fall an assist shy of his second triple double of the series.
Game 7 is Saturday in Denver, where the Nuggets had the league’s best home record during the regular season. The winner will face Portland.
Jamal Murray added 16 points and Gary Harris had 14 points for the Nuggets.
The Spurs were 4 for 9 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to overcome Jokic’s output.
San Antonio needed the win to continue the series after a listless performance in a 108-90 loss in Denver on Tuesday in which the Nuggets led by as many as 30 points.
Still, the Spurs had another hot start nullified by a better second quarter by the Nuggets.
San Antonio surged to a 34-24 lead by shooting 67 percent from the field in the first quarter while Denver missed all seven of its 3-point attempts.
DeRozan and Aldridge had a hand in the Spurs’ first 10 points, combining for six points and four assists. Aldridge drained a 3-pointer to put San Antonio up 15-8 with 7:26, leading to a timeout by Denver.
Jokic kept the Nuggets in the game in the third quarter, scoring 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting.
The Spurs were able to regroup beyond the 3-point line.
Marco Belinelli looked over at Gregg Popovich after missing a 3-pointer in the right corner with just under 11 minutes and the San Antonio coach nodded his head and clapped at the veteran guard. Popovich had a slight smile when Belinelli made his next 3 pointer a minute later.
Rudy Gay added 19 points and Belinelli had nine.