That’s the scenario facing the severely slumping Bruins, who are now 1-6-1 in their last eight games.
There’s little time to ponder what went wrong in this one as a visit to Carolina on Sunday is looming, but really it was the same old thing. What chances there were went for naught, as Boston outshot Ottawa 33-23 and still wound up with less than one goal for the second time in five days against the Senators.
There actually was a bit more drive in this one than Thursday against Columbus. Not only did the B’s give Brian Elliott some work in net, they won the bulk of the faceoffs and had six more hits than Ottawa. But a few giveaways and a miscommunication on defense on the first goal of the game dooms the Bruins, who fall to 23-19-8.
We will follow the action for you Sunday when Boston visits Carolina, far and away the worst team in the East.
Third period, 44.1 seconds, Senators 2-1: Tim Thomas is off in favor of an extra skater and the Bruins have called timeout to discuss a faceoff just outside the Ottawa zone.
Trent Whitfield will likely take the faceoff. He has won 11-of-13 in the game.
Third period, 1:41, Senators 2-1: A David Krejci floater nearly finds a home but does not and we will have a faceoff in the Bruins zone now.
Third period, 2:45, Senators 2-1: Very few whistles in this one and as time continues to fly away we will keep our eye on Tim Thomas to see if/when he skates off for the extra attacker. Certainly a bit before that happens but the way this period is going it will be here before you know it.
Third period, 4:10, Senators 2-1: Daniel Paille has a shot sail wide and the Bruins are running out of opportunities here.
Third period, 6:43, Senators 2-1: Not the best of games today for Blake Wheeler, who was whisked away earlier with an undisclosed injury and has had a couple of flubs here in the third.
He first nearly turned the puck over in front of Tim Thomas and then just busted up a Bruins rush when the puck rolled off his stick in the left circle.
Third period, 8:34, Senators 2-1: Nick Foligno has a great chance to give the Senators a two-goal lead after breaking free, but cannot get a good shot off. B’s dodged a bullet there.
Third period, 10:58, Senators 2-1: There are times when the Sens seem to have a player in perfect position for every loose puck in the Bruins’ zone, but they still have not taken a direct shot on Tim Thomas in the third.
Third period, 12:34, Senators 2-1: Still no shots on goal in the third period for Ottawa, but the Sens have managed to frustrate fans by keeping the puck in the Bruins’ zone for prolonged stretches here in the third.
Third period, 15:20, Senators 2-1: Nothing to show for it yet but some nice pressure here early in the period by the Bruins, who have taken the stanza’s first five shots.
Third period, 16:25, Senators 2-1: Drew Larman has a great chance there for his first goal as a Bruin but his shot sails high.
Third period, 18:14, Senators 2-1: A few boos rain down as the B’s struggle to get the puck out of their zone a few times here early in the third.
Third period, 19:55, Senators 2-1: Twenty big minutes for the Bruins, who could find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture before the day is through.
End of second period, Senators 2-1: Milan Lucic gets two shots on net in the final minute of the second period but remains without a goal in eight-plus games.
Overall a slight edge to Boston in that stanza as it outshoots Ottawa 11-6 and, until Jason Spezza’s tally, had regained the momentum.
But as it stands there’s 20 minutes for the Bruins to salvage anything from a three-game homestand. At least one point would be nice with the second half of a back-to-back Sunday in Carolina.
Second period, 1:05, Senators 2-1: The second review of the period has the same result — no goal.
That is the third review in two games for the Bruins.
Second period, 1:05, Senators 2-1: Daniel Alfredsson scores again to give the Senators a two-goal edge. For now.
Once again we will have a review as it appeared as if Mike Fisher tipped that one past Tim Thomas with a stick raised just a tad too high.
Second period, 3:21, Senators 2-1: Just when the Bruins seemed to have things in their favor the Senators strike back on the stick of Jason Spezza, who has returned from a 20-game layoff with a mammoth tally.
Spezza skated into the B’s zone alone and, after getting a pass in stride from Alex Kovalez, fires a wrister the beats Tim Thomas over his right shoulder.
That is Spezza’s first goal since Dec. 14.
Second period, 4:40, 1-1: Some early pressure on Brian Elliott but otherwise nothing to show for the Bruins’ first power play of the game.
They have not had a power-play goal in six-plus games, with just 12 opportunities.
Second period, 7:05, 1-1: The Bruins will get another shot at that second goal after Filip Kuba is penalized for interference.
Second period, 7:49, 1-1: The call is negated as review shows that the puck did glance off Recchi’s skate. We remain tied.
Early in that play Paille went behind the net to play a puck and was virtually alone in the zone. He did lose the puck eventually but the Sens never completely got possession and Paille was there to take a pass and hit Recchi skating toward the crease. Although the result was not what B’s fans wanted it was a nice play.
Second period, 7:49, Bruins 2-1: Daniel Paille does the job again, this time keeping a puck alive amid three Ottawa defenders and eventually finding Mark Recchi for a go-ahead goal.
This play is under review as it may have gone off Recchi’s skate.
Second period, 11:34, 1-1: Groans turn to cheers as the Bruins get a huge goal from Daniel Paille.
It was a slap shot from the right circle and came moments after Patrice Bergeron was planted to the ice. Somehow Bergeron got the puck to come Paille’s way and the winger put it home for his seventh goal of the season.
We should give some more love to Paille, as he quietly played a very strong game Thursday against Columbus. He had four takeaways, a few of which led to nice chances for Boston. There were a total of 10 takeaways between the two teams overall.
Bergeron and Dennis Wideman get the assists on Paille’s tally.
Second period, 11:49, Senators 1-0: A few groans in the Garden as the Bruins fail to get much going here again in the second and have a pair of turnovers in the neutral zone.
Second period, 14:10, Senators 1-0: Dennis Wideman gets some rare love from the crowd after a nice play to break up a rush by Daniel Alfredsson.
Wideman had been faked nicely by the Sens star but stayed with the play and poked the puck away while on his stomach.
Second period, 16:28, Senators 1-0: Blake Wheeler has been taken to the locker room. He may have been hit by the puck, perhaps on a shot by Ottawa defenseman Alexandre Picard, but it was hard to see. He skated to the B’s bench with a hand to the face and immediately went to the trainer.
Second period, 17:22, Senators 1-0: The Bruins last shot in this game came off the stick of Johnny Boychuk with 9:37 left in the first period, a blast noted below.
That is now over 12 minutes without a shot.
Second period, 19:55, Senators 1-0: Forgive me for not mentioning it earlier but you may have noticed that the Bruins are wearing their special “Winter Classic” jerseys for the first time since that contest in Fenway Park. They will wear it two more times this season, the next being Feb. 6 vs. Vancouver.
End of first period, Senators 1-0: There’s that man again — Daniel Alfredsson.
Alfredsson scores with 5.9 seconds left in the first period, beating Tim Thomas glove-side for his 14th goal of the season, four of which have come in the last four periods against the Bruins.
Ottawa took charge in the second half of that period, getting the one power play and putting a ton of pressure on Thomas. The Sens had 10 of the last 11 shots in the period and again have the B’s looking uphill.
First period, 45.0 seconds, 0-0: Milan Lucic seemed a bit unrprepared for a centering pass moments ago and fanned on the shot. He then collided with about 25 different skaters trying to get to the bench for a change. Not a great couple of seconds for Lucic.
First period, 2:45, 0-0: Another Johnny Boychuk drive is wide by just a few inches.
First period, 4:12, 0-0: Nine of the game’s last 10 shots have been taken by Ottawa, but Tim Thomas is much sharper than he was in Monday’s meeting. Perhaps he needed some rest after the West Coast trip.
First period, 4:30, 0-0: The penalty is killed and much of the credit goes to Tom Thomas, who made at least four quality saves in that series.
First period, 6:59, 0-0: Miroslav Satan is whisked away with a hooking penalty and Ottawa has the first power play of the night.
The Sens have the worst power play unit in the league, and get turned aside right away by a fine Tim Thomas save.
First period, 7:26, 0-0: Pretty even back and forth action thus far, with the B’s getting a few more looks than the Sens. Such was the case Thursday when Boston came out a bit stronger on the offensive end than Columbus, but as has been the case all season, could not cash in.
While the Bruins did build a 2-1 lead in that one, there were a few chances left out there and it ended up biting them in the end.
First period, 7:55, 0-0: The defensive pairing of Mark Stuart and Johnny Boychuk combines for back-to-back slap shots that nearly get through.
Stuart’s drive bounced around for a second before being cleared and Boychuk’s shot was driven off by the pad of Brian Elliott.
Boston owns an 8-5 shot advantage early on.
First period, 10:20, 0-0: A dangerous pass from Tim Thomas to Trent Whitfield in front of the Bruins net leads to a mini-rush for Miroslav Satan, but nothing more than a “whoa” from the crowd is the result.
First period, 13:40, 0-0: Jason Spezza appears to be moving just fine for the Senators after a 20-game layoff with a knee injury. He will be hard-pressed to keep alive a streak of three straight 30-goal seasons but adds a big weapon to an already surging Senators unit.
First period, 16:00, 0-0: Patrice Bergeron is unable to finish a rush in the B’s best chance early on.
Moments earlier, Vladimir Sobotka took exception with Chris Kelly’s actions in front of the Bruins bench, as Kelly slowed a Boston line change.
First period, 18:10, 0-0: Tim Thomas with a stick save on the first shot of the game. Moments earlier Daniel Paille had a quick opportunity in front but missed.
First period, 19:50, 0-0: We are underway in this crucial contest for the B’s, who have to find something, somewhere to pick up a point or two here.
12:45 p.m.: Since this is the 100th meeting in the Bruins-Senators series, I just wanted to throw out a few numbers to highlight what has taken place thus far.
It’s hard to remember this after Ottawa spanked Boston on Monday, but the B’s have dominated the series. They won the first four games this season and are 13-2-0 in the last 15.
Boston owns a 55-29-8-7 mark overall against Ottawa.
Tim Thomas is 16-6-2 with a 2.10 GAA against the Sens. He has double-digit wins against only one other team in the NHL, defeating Toronto 13 times.
12:35 p.m.: Greetings from the Garden, where we are about set for this 100th meeting between the Bruins and Senators.
We just got word from Claude Julien that the injured players — specifically Marco Sturm, Byron Bitz and Steve Begin — are very unlikely to even travel for Sunday’s tilt in Carolina.
Julien did say that Bitz and Marc Savard skated this morning.
When asked whether he needed to offer any extra motivation for his troops today, Julien said:
“I’m not going to shove anything down their throat. That’s what I said yesterday. They know what’s at stake and we just got ot out there and play. Right now I’m not frustrated, I’m just not going to start over analyzing this stuff. We’ve got to win the game tonight. They know what’s at stake, so you just get your team prepared and say, ‘Listen, let’s just go out there and do a job that we hope to do tonight, or today.”
As expected, Tim Thomas led the B’s onto the ice for warm-ups and will get another crack at the Sens, who scored three goals on nine shots against Thomas on Monday. Brian Elliott is in net for Ottawa. He had 22 saves against Boston earlier this week in the first of three straight wins.
10:45 a.m.: The Ottawa Sun is reporting that Spezza will play this afternoon.The Sens will be without defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
He has been skating with Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson — the Sens’ top line — at practice this week.
10:02 a.m.: Five days after the Ottawa Senators traipsed into TD Garden and dealt another blow to the bumbling Bruins, the two meet up in a Saturday matinee pitting Northeast Division teams heading in opposite directions.
The puck drops just after 1:00 p.m. and we will be there to give you all the action.
Including Monday’s 5-1 loss to the Senators, the B’s (23-18-8) have gone 1-5-1 in their last seven games and have yet to gain a point in the first two games of a three-game homestand. Thursday’s result — a 3-2 loss to Columbus — was another punch in the gut that left the club clinging to one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
Boston held a 2-1 lead entering the third period before allowing the tying goal and then the winner after Milan Lucic was whistled off for an unfair double-minor for a high stick with less than two minutes left.
Fifteen seconds after the controversial call the Blue Jackets took the lead and held on for the 3-2 win.
Boston has scored three goals in its last 153-plus minutes of hockey, and it still will be without three forwards in Marco Sturm, Steve Begin and Byron Bitz, each out with a range of injuries.
Tim Thomas, who was pulled Monday against Ottawa and sat in favor ofTuukka Rask against the Blue Jackets, is expected back in net.
The Senators (27-21-4) extended their winning streak to five games with a 3-2 win over St. Louis at home on Thursday. Defenseman Chris Phillips scored the game-winner with 9:31 left in the third period.
Ottawa has allowed just six goals during its five-game run.