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Bruins get balanced offense

David Backes completed the Bruins’ scoring with a second-period strike.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

The Bruins have been searching for some balance on the scoresheet and Thursday night they got it, with five players scoring goals in their 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. And while their sharpshooting first line was quiet, the second and third lines picked up the pace.

The game was only about eight minutes old when the offense began spilling out, the Bruins scoring four goals in a span of 4:01 to chase Sergei Bobrovsky from the Columbus net.

Three of the four goals were first strikes of the season for three players. Well, almost three. After Torey Krug and Matt Beleskey collected their first scores of the year, Austin Czarnik got his second, and then Jimmy Hayes got his first. Until, on further review, Hayes’s goal was credited to Tim Schaller (his second). Another time for the much-scorned Hayes, still sporting a 0-0—0 line.


Hayes’s former linemate, Beleskey, picked up an assist on Czarnik’s goal for a 2-point period, something to build on.

In fact, the third line — Riley Nash centering Czarnik and Beleskey — was center stage for much of the game.

It took a little shaking up to get these third-line skaters to settle in to a scoring groove. Beleskey was pointless in the first nine games and then found himself scratched against Tampa Bay.

“Rock bottom,’’ he called it. “You’ve just got to climb up.”

He’s come back with renewed determination and a little more steel in his game. He rapped in his first goal of the season at 9:55 of the first to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead, taking a pass from Czarnik near the left hash marks and skimming it past Bobrovsky.

“That’s what I’ve been doing, trying to keep it simple and shoot pucks at the net,’’ said Beleskey, “and tonight it worked.’’


The trio connected again at 12:24, when Zdeno Chara sent a stretch pass up to Beleskey, who forwarded a short pass to Nash, who dished to Czarnik for the shot and score.

“Czarnik played great,’’ said Beleskey. “He’s a good little player, fun guy to be around. When he gets that confidence and plays like that, he’s going to help the team huge.’’

Czarnik, too, struggled, earlier in the season; an injury slowed him and when he did not rebound quickly, he was sent to Providence to rev up his engines for a couple of games.

“I felt good down there,’’ he said. “I was given a lot of opportunity right away so I was able to make plays, too, down there. It just really helped me, helped me realize I wasn’t good enough up here and made me want to be better. So, I think it helped big time. I’m happy it happened.’’

Schaller’s goal capped the four-goal spurt, and counted as a contribution from the fourth line. Meanwhile, David Krejci and David Backes from the second line were demonstrating their growing chemistry. It paid off when Backes connected in the second period on a feed from Krejci.

Coach Claude Julien said he liked the team’s effort against Montreal Tuesday night, too, in a 3-2 loss, and he sees several lines beginning to make noise.

“I think it’s coming around, you know you’ve got some of those lines: David Krejci with David Backes back and [Krejci] is finding his stride as well,’’ Julien said, running through a list of all the players who had good games. “They have been a better line obviously . . . Matty [Beleskey] is playing better than he did at the beginning, so that has helped that line, Czarny with his speed and skill, and it’s just been a good blend there.’’


By game’s end, only the top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak had been kept off the scoreboard, but their silence was balanced by all the noise from everyone else.