COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jake DeBrusk had two goals and an assist, Tuuka Rask made 32 saves and the Boston Bruins denied Columbus a chance to clinch a playoff spot, beating the Blue Jackets 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Brad Marchand and Karson Kuhlman each had a goal and an assist for the playoff-bound Bruins, who stopped a two-game slide and strengthened their grip on second place in the Atlantic Division. Marcus Johansson and David Pastrnak also scored.
The post-season situation is murkier for Columbus, which could have clinched a wild card with a regulation win and a loss by Montreal. The Blue Jackets started the day in the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Oliver Bjorkstrand extended the longest active goal streak in the NHL to six games with a third-period tally for Columbus, which had won five in a row. Matt Duchene also scored.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 19 stops, but allowed four goals before being relieved by Joonas Korpisalo late in the second period. Korpisalo had three the rest of the way.
Boston got a bizarre break 1:58 into the game when a shot by DeBrusk bounced off the top of the net and straight into the air. On the way down, it hit Bobrovsky in the back and trickled in without him seeing it.
The Bruins went up 2-0 late in the first when Johansson banged in a rebound for his first goal since being acquire in a trade with New Jersey at the deadline last month.
Late in the second, Marchand tapped in a shot amid heavy traffic. DeBrusk got his second goal on a breakaway 46 seconds later, and Pastrnak made it 5-0 early in the third period.
Columbus answered with back-to-back power-play goals. Bjorkstrand, who has been on a tear, converted a shot from the top of the right circle. Duchene then got his 31st of the season at 9:14, but the Blue Jackets were unable to keep the momentum.
Kuhlman followed with Boston’s sixth goal with 9:32 left.
NOTES: Columbus D Adam McQuaid missed his third game with an upper-body injury. … Boston’s Bruce Cassidy coached his 300th NHL game. … Boston D Steven Kampfer played in his 200th NHL game. … Bruins D John Moore missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury. … Columbus broke a franchise record with its 248th goal of the season. … Pastrnak has 12 points in his past seven games.
Bruins: Visit Minnesota on Thursday for penultimate regular-season game.
Blue Jackets: Finish the season with games at the New York Rangers on Friday and Ottawa on Saturday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Follow Mitch Stacy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mitchstacy
Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press