It almost has a Disney movie feel to it. The team with the best home record in the NHL was up against the team with the best road record. The Bruins were trying to extend their winning streak, and the Black and Gold were looking for points to remove Montreal from atop the Northeast Division.
The Ottawa Senators have been playing this season through a string of injuries. In total, the Senators players have missed a total of one hundred and eighteen games because of them. (The Bruins have only lost seven.) The Bruins and the Senators do have one thing in common though. Their teams AHL and NHL squads work on very similar systems and it makes them nearly interchangeable. It has kept the Bruins afloat in the past, and it has some wonders for the Ottawa squad.
The Senators came out quickly, taking advantage of sloppy hockey played by the Bruins. A scant fifty five seconds into the game, Guillame Latendresse took advantage of a bad Bruins series to put them on the board early. Six minutes later, another sloppy turnover lead to Kyle Turris getting one high side against Rask. Ottawa was leading 2-0, and the air horn went spastic. The Bruins weren’t giving up though. A hard hit by Adam McQuaid into the Sens’ Chris Neil sent Neil into the boards and put McQuaid in a fight with Patrick Wiercioch.
A lot of people call the fourth line in hockey the grind line. For us, they are the Merlot Men. Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell. Sure, they have been known to grind, and occasionally they might drop the gloves. *chuckle* Tonight however, they were our production line. With less than a minute in the first period, the Merlot men pressed hard against Robin Lehner‘s crease and got him to give up a messy goal to get them back within one.
There has been a lot of talk about how serious some hits are in this game, and we’ve been lucky to dodge a few bullets when it comes to injuries. Chris Neil was on the flip side of a hit against Chris Kelly. Kelly took a hit to knee and crumpled on the ice. Kelly left the game due to the injury. He is traveling to Pittsburgh with the team, so the injury does not appear to be too serious though. My best guess is that Pandolfo will either move into his slot for the Pittsburgh game, or will take Daniel Paille’s on the fourth and Paille moves up to the third.
Let’s continue for a moment with the Daniel Paille show. He screened Lehner effectively on the Thornton goal (although only Chara was credited with the assist), and made the play of the game(at least in regulation, but we’ll get to that shortly). The Senators weren’t counting the men on the ice. Paille gets in on a line change, and catches them Senators napping. It’s not everyday you get to hear ‘Daniel Paille on a breakaway!’ He did it though. Amazing job Paizy! You were everywhere you needed to be tonight.
The remainder of the game gave both teams chances to score, but at the end of regulation and overtime, we were tied at two. The teams entered the shootout where both teams scored once in the initial three rounds. (Patrice Bergeron for Boston, Kyle Turris for Ottawa) Then Kaspars Daugavins brings us back to the Disney movie. No ‘flying V’ or ‘knucklepuck’ for this Senator, he attempted one of the most creative shots on goal that should have been saved for an All-Star game. Tuukka stopped him, and David Krejci (last night was his 400th career NHL game) went with a far more traditional shot to give the Bruins the 3-2 shootout win. They moves the Bruins to 17-3-3, and places them one point behind the Montreal Canadiens.
You know what they say about no rest for the wicked. The Bruins are heading out to Pittsburgh to take on the offensive powerhouse Penguins tonight at 7pm.