Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien ties for 2nd all time for wins as a Bruins coach trailing only Art Ross with his 245th win as coach. However that win almost never came, as the Bruins had to come back from what could have been a disastrous shut out loss in Ottawa. But Julien rallied his troops and the Bruins walk away with the big 2 points they needed as they continue to challenge Montreal for the Divison and Conference lead.
The Bruins fell behind 0-2 very early in the first period with goals from Guillaume Latendresse and Kyle Turris before Shawn Thornton brought it with in one late in the first. The Bruins dealt with choppy ice and the pinch and push style of Paul MacLean the entire game and there were several moments through out the latter half of the first period and the second period when the Ottawa Senators had the chance to create a 3-0 / 3-1 lead. Daniel Paille tied the game on a gorgeous breakaway opportunity and ripped the puck top shelf on Robin Lehner.
It would come down to a shootout with two great deke out goals by Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to win it, the Senators got a lead in the shootout with a goal from Kyle Turris but when Kaspars Daugavins‘s fancy stick on the puck spin-o-rama attempt failed with Tuukka Rask‘s spread pad save, David Krejci buried a wrister top cheese after dragging Robin Lehner left to right. Robin Lehner and Tuukka Rask both blame phenomenal games tonight facing 30+ shots each through 3 periods. Both goalies posted .900+ SV% and played the full 65:00 (including overtime).
The Boston Bruins powerplay fell short but Ottawa’s penalty kill has been red hot as of late and the Bruins’ man advantage team isn’t clicking well enough for them to end such a hot penalty kill like Ottawa’s. When it came to penalties tonight, the officiating certainly could have been better. The controversial hit on Chris Kelly from Chris Neil raised some eyebrows and unfortunately he would miss the rest of the game. Chris Neil drew a penalty late in the first when he was “boarded” by Adam McQuaid, but it speaks volumes of Neil’s personality to take a dive and then a cheap shot. The Bruins powerplay definitely can see improvement, and with Chris Bourque back in Providence the powerplay’s overall puck movement and offensive zone play seems much sloppier.
None the less, the Bruins come out victorious against their “team-first” divisional rival and the pressure is on this week, with another game tomorrow in Pittsburgh.