COLUMBUS, Ohio – Loui Eriksson’s winning goal didn’t earn any style points, at least in his eyes.
The rest of the Boston Bruins thought it looked just fine.
Eriksson scored from a hard angle in the opening minute of the third period, a goal he said “wasn’t the prettiest one.”
His first goal with Boston helped the Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
“I think he only scores nice goals,” said Tuukka Rask, who made 26 saves, including a few sterling ones late to preserve a one-goal lead. “I mean, it was an unbelievable goal. He does that in practice all the time, too.”
Bruins center Brad Marchand rated it a masterpiece.
“It’s great to see him get one there,” he said. “It was a beautiful goal. That gets the monkey off his back.”
Eriksson, acquired last summer in the big trade that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas, had scored his first 150 goals for the Stars. He was scoreless in three games for the Bruins, but said he hadn’t reached the point of pressing for goals yet.
“I’ve had some slow starts in other years,” he said. “It’ll come. If you create chances out there, it’ll come. “
Boston, which trailed and was shut out until late in the second period, took the lead for good on Eriksson’s breakthrough goal.
On a rush, Patrice Bergeron found Eriksson with a nifty cross-ice pass. From the right side of the goal line, Eriksson tucked a high shot just inside the near post over goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s left shoulder 49 seconds into the third.
Bruins Coach Claude Julien wasn’t worried about Eriksson, a veteran of eight NHL seasons.
“He was really good,” Julien said. “(He made) smart plays, (was) competing better, stuff like that. That’s what we talked about with him. You’ve got to give guys some time to get adjusted, to get acquainted and feeling comfortable. You see a guy like him after a few games finding his stride.”
Playing their first road game, the Bruins also got a goal from Chris Kelly, and an empty-net tally from Milan Lucic.
Rask wasn’t peppered with shots but came up big when most needed. He blocked Marian Gaborik’s tying attempt in the closing moments and then flicked the puck aside.
“We gave up a couple of rushes, which is not the greatest thing when there’s five minutes left and you’re leading by one,” Rask said. “But we took care of business. Maybe we just need to clean up the neutral zone a little better.”
Jack Johnson scored on a first-period power play for the Blue Jackets, who won their last two on the road but are now 0-2 at home.
Bobrovsky, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie, stopped 33 shots.