The Bruins came into tonight’s game riding a 4 game winning streak stretching all the way back to the win over the Jets on February 17th. Looking to put away their first at home in 11 days the Bruins came out gunning against a very strong and hopeful Senators team.
The Ottawa Senators have probably right now the worst luck in the NHL, they’ve lost their superstar blue liner in Erik Karlsson and their second line centre in Jason Spezza, and recently lost their starting goalie Craig Anderson. All of these injuries have put the Sens in boiling water leaving their season in jeopardy, but the Senators have shown through and went on a 5 game winning streak entering the game. That winning streak has come to an official end in a very dramatic overtime win in Boston.
The Bruins opened the scoring with a wrister in front by Nathan Horton in the 2nd period. Ottawa would answer back on the powerplay with 6 minutes left in the period with a goal by Jim O’Brien. The game started off with a sluggish first period, it wasn’t exactly boring but it remained a 0-0 deadlock for 20 minutes before Horton scored in the second, the third period again saw the Bruins continue down a deadlocked 20 minutes before Bergeron got the overtime winner. Bergeron was initially denied his goal when it seemed like the puck hadn’t fully crossed the line after it deflected off of him in behind Senators goalie Robin Lehner. The puck was already in before Lehner bumped it in with his bare hand and then pushed it in even farther before the whistle went and the goal was disallowed. Upon the review the goal was allowed and the game was over. A little disappointing, a shootout would have been nice, but no taking this away from Bergie.
Speaking of goaltending, Tuukka Rask played another terrific game. This is his third straight where he has let in 1 goal and stopped 30 shots by the Ottawa Senators through out the three periods. Robin Lehner made 44 saves during tonight’s game, this is his second game where he has allowed 2 goals. Both goalies posted .950+ SV% (Rask: .968 and Lehner .957). The overall defence in this game by the Bruins was phenomenal. Hamilton looked as poised as ever, and Boychuk and Ference both played a very aggressive defensive game tonight which helped keep Ottawa with one goal.
Our penalty kill streak ended again this time with 28 straight penalty kills. The Bruins have broken their 2002 Penalty Kill record and their 2009 Penalty Kill record this season alone. The powerplay again is struggling, after going 3/8 on the road and showing a turn around, things are again falling short for the Bruins with man advantage. Puck movement is fine but when it comes time to set up a shot on goal things seem to be falling apart. With penalties on the mind, there were 2 things tonight that stand out with the officiating. The non-call on Gonchar for interference against Krejci near the end of the third period and the “Closing the puck on the hand / Automatic Delay of Game” penalty against Lucic. Gonchar got away with an interference call (a blatant one at that) and Lucic is called for what was originally delay of game for putting his hand on the puck for about 2-3 seconds before realizing it was under there. The officiating wasn’t as bad as it’s been across the league, but things are certainly still shaky.
The Bruins have another 2 games at home against Tampa and Montreal this weekend. Both should produce an exciting outing for the Bruins as they will be sticking around at home for quite a while.