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Recap: Bruins overcome slow start, defeat Senators 3-2

Nov 9, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrates with right wing David Pastrnak (88) after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrates with right wing David Pastrnak (88) after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

It wasn’t pretty to start, but the Boston Bruins pulled out a win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night by a score of 3-2.

Brad Marchand, Derek Forbort and Patrice Bergeron scored the three Boston goals, all in the second period, and Jeremy Swayman made 25 saves in his third win of the season. Both Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak had two assists in the effort.

It was also coach Bruce Cassidy’s 200th win as a head coach of the Bruins.

With the win, the Bruins moved to 6-4-0 on the season and created a bigger game between themselves and the Senators, who sit one spot behind them in the division. With the loss, Ottawa’s losing streak extends to five and it drops to 3-8-1.

1st period

Ugly, ugly, ugly. A bad first frame got out to such a start due to the Senators striking first. Zach Sanford was left all alone at the side of the net to bang home a rebound and put Ottawa up 1-0 early.

A bad rebound by Swayman, bad coverage by Matt Grzelcyk where he really didn’t cover anyone in front and Sanford is left wide open at the side of the net for the easy tap-in goal. Great effort by Brady Tkachuk to find Sanford despite falling down.

It was a tough period for all the Bruins, but particularly McAvoy. He took two avoidable penalties in the first 20 minutes and if it had not been for the penalty kill, things could have really gotten out of hand.

No harm, no foul though as the Senators led 1-0.

2nd period

Boston came out much, much better in the second. Not exactly right away as Pastrnak took a penalty six seconds in, but eventually the Bruins found their footing.

Speaking of penalties, the Bruins’ top power play unit struck again as Pastrnak fired a shot off Marchand’s chest that directed right into the net.

Exactly as you draw it up!

The Bruins got their first lead of the game about five minutes later when noted offensive defenseman Forbort beat Matt Murray far-side for his second of the season.

A LOT of people have been getting on Forbort and there’s been some merit to it. There were groans on Twitter when fans saw him on the top defensive pairing with McAvoy again and of course, what does he do but score a goal.

The lead didn’t last long however, as just over two minutes later, Nikita Zaitsev tied the game at 2.

It’s not clear if it got deflected or not, but if that’s a straight shot on Swayman, he has to have that. No excuses for that one if it’s right in the midsection and you let it squeak through. Swayman said after the game that it definitely got deflected, so we’ll go with that.

The Bruins nearly gained the lead back, as Pastrnak was left alone in front of Murray, but the Ottawa goaltender made a fantastic paddle save to deny the winger.

Great effort by Thomas Chabot as well, coming in behind Murray as insurance and immediately clear the puck out.

However, the Bruins were able to get one in before the end of the second. With some assistance from Marchand’s broke stick, Bergeron was able to handle a bouncing puck and fire it past Murray.

I don’t think Murray was expecting a shot there as Bergeron hadn’t settled the puck down completely, but nonetheless, 3-2 Bruins lead.

3rd period

Boston locked things down in the third for the most part, but did have one defensive breakdown.

Nick Paul was left all alone in the slot and a loose puck came out in front of him. However, Swayman made the biggest save of the net, stopping the winger from tying the game.

Things did get chippy in the third. Trent Frederic got caught on the wrong end of a big hit from Josh Brown. He left the game and didn’t return.

Minutes later, Connor Clifton and Alex Formenton got into it after a collision near the Bruins’ net and dropped the gloves. Good tilt from Clifton, his first of the season.

Despite the extra shenanigans going on, the Bruins were able to lock down and secure the 3-2 win.


  • OK, he had a really bad start, but Charlie McAvoy more than made up for his poor first period. Two assists and he was throwing the body around all night long. He finished with five hits, including this big one on Sanford in the third
  • Six shots on goal and two apples for Pasta. One of his best games so far this season
  • A perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. It looked excellent again tonight. Too many penalties, but the PK bailed those offenders out
  • Erik Haula is extremely snakebitten right now. Had a chance in the middle frame but couldn’t bury it. However he was absolutely DOMINANT in the face-off dot, winning 10 of his 12 face-offs
  • The Bruins failed again to play a full 60 minutes. Again, with a poor team like the Senators, they can get away with it. But they won’t against say the Oilers, who they play Thursday
  • Cassidy had some harsh words for Taylor Hall after the game. He switched Hall and Jake DeBrusk late in the third, and implied that Hall’s game tonight wasn’t suited to protect a one-goal lead
  • I still don’t understand Mike Reilly. Has some flashes were he is really good at handling the puck and moving around in the offensive zone, and then other times, tries to force plays and turns the puck over
  • Frederic left the game in the third and did not return after the hit from Brown. Good, clean hit, Frederic just got caught with his head down in the neutral zone. Cassidy said he didn’t have an update and would know more tomorrow
  • Jack Studnicka’s leash is extremely short with Cassidy. Didn’t see much action after the tripping penalty in the opening minutes of the third. Injuries might keep him up in Boston, but once they’re healthy, I don’t see him getting consistent playing time. Heck, he doesn’t see it now

End of the day, a win is a win, and it’s two big points gained in the division.

Next. Bruins continue to play catch-up in the division. dark

The Bruins have Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers coming to town on Thursday. For a team that is struggling a bit on defense, it has the making of a potentially horrid mismatch with the high-flying offense of the Oilers. But it’s also a great opportunity for the defense to show what they can step up in a big game and stifle the highest-scoring offense in the league.