With just a few points separating the Boston Bruins from the middle of the playoff pack, and with the rival Montreal Canadiens (tied with the Bruins in points in the standings) in action in Winnipeg, the black and gold couldn’t afford another disappointing showing like the one on display Tuesday in Philadelphia. It would appear as if they received that message loud and clear last night, putting forth a solid, workman-like effort to earn a 2-0 shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dennis Seidenberg and Daniel Paille did the scoring and Tuukka Rask stopped all 26 shots he faced, including some dazzling saves on Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos, to lead the Bruins to the win.
For one night at least the Bruins got the proverbial offensive monkey off their backs, responding to a disappointing loss to the Canadiens on Saturday by finding the net six times against the Carolina Hurricanes, earning a 6-2 win. Led by a pair of goals from Brad Marchand and a career high three assists from Dennis Seidenberg, Boston scored three first period goals and two more in the second to break the game open. The lopsided score was more than a bit deceiving however, as goaltender Tuukka Rask had to be very sharp, stopping 40 of 42 Carolina shots for his 17th win of the season.
The Boston Bruins haven’t been playing very well of late. After scrambling back for a last minute victory against the Senators, they were looking for a stronger, more complete effort against the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight, a place where Boston had won four straight games. Instead, they got a near carbon copy of their performance in Ottawa – minus the win. An early third period goal by Frazer McLaren gave the Leafs a 3-0 lead, and despite rallying to pull within a goal the Bruins couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to Toronto by a 3-2 score.
For about 39 minutes tonight in Ottawa, the Boston Bruins looked flat, lifeless and destined for their third straight loss. But a late second period goal by Daniel Paille seemed to energize the Black and Gold, and Dennis Seidenberg scored with just a minute left in regulation to allow the Bruins to escape with a 2-1 victory over the Senators and more importantly, two points in a game they probably didn’t deserve to win. Anton Khudobin was once again strong in goal for Boston, earning his sixth victory of the year with a 27 save performance.
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.