Well, they aren’t all going to be pretty. After returning from a successful road trip the Bruins talked about not having a let down against the Ottawa Senators last night, but that’s pretty much what they did. When all was said and done though, the Black and Gold still managed to pick up two more points, as Patrice Bergeron tipped a Dennis Seidenberg shot past Sens goalie Robin Lehner with just a minute and a half left in overtime to earn the Bruins the win, 2-1.
It didn’t take long to see that the B’s didn’t have their skating legs, as the first period was a bit of a snoozer with both teams getting some chances but neither team putting anything on the scoreboard. The Senators were content playing the grinding, defensive style that helped them to a five game winning streak coming into the game, and while the Bruins did put 11 shots on Lehner in the opening frame, most were of the relatively harmless variety.
Both teams stepped up the energy a little more in the second period. Boston was able to break the stalemate first, with Nathan Horton and Dougie Hamilton working a give-and-go in the slot that ended with Horton deflecting Hamilton’s return pass through Lehner’s five hole to give the B’s the 1-0 lead.
With just five minutes left in the period though, Ottawa would strike back. Realistically it was only going to be a matter of time before the Bruins allowed a power play goal, despite killing off 27 straight disadvantages. In true Bruins style a too many men on the ice penalty put them down a man, and Ottawa was able to capitalize. A rare mistake by Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara left a huge lane down the middle of the ice, and the Senators took advantage, springing Kaspars Daugavins on a breakaway. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, making his sixth straight start, was able to come up with the initial save, but Chara and David Krejci couldn’t corral a loose puck in front shortly after and Senators forward Jim O’Brien was able to poke it in the back of the Boston net to tie the game.
The story was much the same for the third period, as the teams traded mostly low-quality chances. The Bruins penalty kill was put to the test once more though, after a closing the hand on the puck call against Milan Lucic with just 30 seconds left in the game. Ottawa wasn’t able to solve Rask again though despite the penalty carrying over into overtime, and the B’s eventually took advantage.
Bergeron started the game winning play by winning an offensive zone faceoff back to Seidenberg, and then heading to the front of the net. Seidenberg wristed a waist-high shot toward goal, and Bergeron was able to deflect the shot just enough to get by Lehner. Similar to Horton’s slow moving goal, the puck slid slowly past the Senator goalie, with just enough energy to get over the goal line. The play briefly went to review, but the call was eventually confirmed, giving the Bruins their fifth straight win.
The B’s now prepare for another matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon at the Garden, looking to stretch their win streak further and hand the Bolts their fourth straight loss.
- Patrice Bergeron – quintessential Bruin. Seven points in his last five games including last night’s game winner, had a team high five shots on net, two hits and played 22+ minutes, best among forwards. Now tied with David Krejci for the team lead in points with 14, and has been Boston’s most consistent forward all season.
- Dennis Seidenberg – had a bit of a hiccup with Chara on Ottawa’s goal, but otherwise has been the Bruins’ best defenseman so far this year. Had the assist on the game winner, played 24 minutes (second only to Chara), had two shots, five hits and two blocks.
- Nathan Horton – didn’t have the prettiest goal, but still continues to contribute. Has four points in his last five, and last night had four shots in 15:38 of ice. Continues to get quality scoring chances, and will be dangerous if he can bury a few more.
- Milan Lucic – Had led the way physically for the Bruins, with a game high seven hits last night. Currently tied with Horton in scoring with 11 points, including points in his last three. Made a solid play to keep the puck in the Ottawa zone that led to Horton’s goal. But also took a pretty dumb penalty in the waning seconds of regulation but trapping the puck with his hand. Has to be smarter in that situation.
- Chris Bourque – had one of his rougher games of the season. Took two lazy penalties and was forcing bad passes on the power play all night long. Did have four shots in 12 minutes of ice, but overall wasn’t very good.
- Defense On Ottawa Goal – started with a mental lapse between Seidenberg and Chara that led to the breakaway, and then four Bruins (including Rask) couldn’t clear the puck against two Senators. We didn’t expect the B’s to kill off every single penalty for the rest of the season, but this one was avoidable.