The Bruins won their last regular season road game of the year and reached the 100 point mark. Despite leaving Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas, and Johnny Boychuk at home, the Bruins were able to handle the Senators in what is looking like a first round playoff matchup.Pouliot, Zanon, and Lucic scored for the Bruins and Anton Khudobin made 44 saves in his Bruins debut. He set a career high in saves and now sits at 5-1 in his young NHL career. In what was a less than explosive game, the Bruins seemed to control much of the play only to find themselves out shot 45-27. Brian Rolston continued to stay hot assisting on Pouliot’s 16th goal of the year. An in shape and motivated veteran like Rolston could prove to be a huge boost in the playoffs. Torey Krug would get his first NHL point with an assist on Milan Lucic’s third period goal, his 26th on the year.
Jason Spezza would notch the lone tally on the night for Ottawa. While the Bruins were only up 2-1, Erik Karlsson missed a wide open net when he errantly shot the puck wide. I found it interesting and alarming the way the Senators went about tonight’s game. They did not seem all that concerned with getting a win, though 2 points and their playoff seed was still on the line. The other part I found alarming was a lack of Bruins response in a particular tactic. It was grossly obvious that skill guys were being targeted by Neil, Smith, Foligno, and Carkner, yet we saw no real response. I am not saying these guys did anything dirty, but they took every chance they had to hit and make runs at guys like Krejci and Seguin. I know McQuaid was limited to under 8 minutes and we had some guys back in Boston, I was just sitting there waiting for it to be addressed and it was not.
If this is the way Ottawa is going to play in the playoffs, I am sure it will be taken care and I could certainly see this series being a very physical and gritty one. Not only do these teams know each other very well, but both have a number of role players who enjoy getting in the corners and under opponents skin. I am certainly looking forward to it! On Saturday the Bruins will close out the regular season against the newly eliminated Sabres at home in the annual Shirts Off Our Backs game. All we can hope for is 60 more minutes of good, hard, clean hockey and then we will be looking for a few days off before the quest for the cup really heats up. It will be nice to have to hear Ryan Miller’s whiny voice for a few more months.