Final, Bruins 2-1: We said it might be an ugly goal that wins this game, and that’s exactly what it was. The Bruins get an ugly, ugly goal as Patrice Bergeron looked to tip the puck in front, and that set off a mad scramble in front of the net.
The puck eventually trickled over the line. The play was reviewed, but replays confirmed that the puck was over the line for the win.
End of third period, 1-1: Sixty minutes won’t be enough in this one, as the two teams head to overtime here at the Garden.
The Bruins will have to kill off the final 1:29 of the Milan Lucic penalty to begin the overtime period.
Third period, 19;28, 1-1: Milan Lucic and the Bruins fall victim to a new rule, as the big forward falls behind the Ottawa net and covers the puck with his glove.
That’s a penalty, and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the Bruins.
Third period, 17:44, 1-1: Oddly, things are starting to get a little more chippy as this game enters its final moments of regulation. Still not much in the way of scoring opportunities, though.
Third period, 14:45, 1-1: The Bruins are starting to put things together a little bit, thanks in large part to a big shift from the fourth line.
There wasn’t much in terms of offense, but a big Shawn Thornton hit seemed to get team (and the crowd) going a little bit, as it starts to get late here at the Garden.
Third period, 11:06, 1-1: The Bruins are starting to get a little sloppy with the puck, especially in their own end and the neutral zone, and it’s allowing the Senators some offensive momentum.
Tuukka Rask has had to turn his game on some, and while the Senators only have four registered shots in the period, they are starting to get the Bruins to run around some in their own end. The Boston third line just had a particularly forgettable shift that ended up in a bad icing, but they were able to do just enough following the ensuring faceoff to get the much-needed line shift.
Third period, 9:01, 1-1: No surprises here, as the Bruins’ power play fails at home once again, and the club is left to search for other ways to find some offense midway through the third.
I would have liked to see Claude Julien stick with the first power-play unit a little longer on that power play. The B’s got a faceoff in the Ottawa zone 53 seconds into the man-advantage, and Julien opted for an all-out line change bringing in the second unit, which has struggled in this one so far.
Third period, 5:29, 1-1: The Bruins opened the third period with a couple of nice chances, with David Krejci turning his play up a notch, but with nothing to show for it.
Twice he was turned away by Robin Lehner, with the second save a real dandy as Krejci walked in laterally from the left wing to put the shot on net. However, Lehner turned it away with the blocker.
The Bruins are going back on the power play though. Erik Condra’s tripping penalty gives the B’s another chance.
Third period, 1:00, 1-1: The third period is under way here at the Garden. Probably goes without saying, but the next goal will be a big one.
Second period reaction: It sure looked like the Bruins were starting to turn things on after scoring the game’s first goal and adding a couple of good shifts thereafter, but the Senators withstood those punches and that’s the reason we’re tied through 40 minutes.
With that game-tying goal, the Bruins are now forced to start a new penalty-killing streak as there 27-chance kill streak is now over. The penalty kill looked fine until that play was sprung with the breakout, and the B’s didn’t do enough in front of their own net to clear the puck.
If you go back to the Bruins’ goal, it was scored thanks in large part to Milan Lucic’s play at the blue line. The big forward showed some soft and agile hands in keeping the puck in the zone to set up what turned out to be kind of an ugly goal.
Both goals have been pretty ugly so far, and this game just has the feeling that it’s going to be decided by another ugly one.
End second period 1-1: The second period comes to an end the game all squared 1-1.
Nathan Horton is starting to get physically involved, particularly on the period’s final shift. After losing the puck in the Ottawa end, Horton took a jab at an Ottawa player (admittedly I’m not sure who), and the two got tangled up after the horn as well.
Second period, 5:22, 1-1: Tuukka Rask made an unbelievable save on Kaspars Daugavins, but unfortunately for the Bruins goalie, the play didn’t end there.
The Bruins weren’t able to clear the rebound, and Daugavins stayed with the play. He threw it back to the slot where Zack Smith and Jim O’Brien were following the play. Zdeno Chara and a host of Bruins weren’t able to clear the puck out of the crease, and it was O’Brien who ended up jamming the puck in.
That was a power-play goal, too, meaning the Bruins’ penalty kill streak ends at 27.
Second period, 12:42, Bruins 1-0: Boston’s penalty kill goes to work again after a too many men on the ice penalty kills a promising entrance into the offensive zone.
Second period, 10:28, Bruins 1-0: There have been plenty of critics of Claude Julien who don’t like the coach’s decision to put Chris Bourque on the power play so much. They just got some more ammunition in that fight.
The forward was manning the left point on the power play where he turned the puck over at the blue line. He then compounded that mistake by taking an interference penalty that ends the power play.
Second period, 8:49, Bruins 1-0; David Krejci just had a brilliant burst of speed through the neutral zone and into the attacking zone, and used a little stickhandling to get free before putting a shot on goal.
Sergei Gonchar was able to slow him down some, but in the process, the defenseman earned himself a hooking penalty.
The Bruins are back on the power play.
Second period, 5:48, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get on the board first, but it’s thanks to a little luck that they were able to do so. But maybe that’s what they get for the hustle play that started the scoring play.
Milan Lucic did a great job of keeping the puck in the offensive zone as it reached probably the last inch of the blue line. He flung it back in, and the puck deflected into the slot for Nathan Horton. The forward backhanded it to Dougie Hamilton who was pinching down the right, before passing it back to Horton in the slot. The forward kind of whiffed on the puck, but he got just enough of it to push it by Robin Lehner, who must have been thrown off by the sudden change in velocity.
It’s a lucky goal, but the Bruins will take it given the current state of affairs.
Second period, 4:50, 0-0: The Bruins had arguably the game’s best chance when Tyler Seguin took the puck in the right slot and fired it on net, but Robin Lehner made a nice kick save into the corner to disrupt the offensive pressure.
Brad Marchand had a chance earlier in the period as well after Daniel Alfredsson made a careless turnover at his own blue line that Marchand gladly took. However, the Bruins forward couldn’t hit the net with the shot, missing wide to Lehner’s left.
Second period, 0:01, 0-0: Play is back on in the second period, as these clubs look to get some offense going.
First period reaction: Well there wasn’t much going on in the first period, but when there was, it was the Bruins pretty much dominating the play. At least that’s what the stats say.
The B’s are outshooting the Senators 11-5, winning the faceoff battle 10-5 and Ottawa has seven giveways, yet it’s still scoreless. The Bruins have put the clamps down only allowing five shots (thanks in part to six blocked shots), but the Sens have to be at least somewhat happy that they’re not down.
It’s on the Bruins to come out in the second and actually make something happen. If they don’t, these are the types of games that you end up kicking yourself over when you give up a fluky goal or something of the variety.
Boston has been the better team in just about every category except on the scoreboard, and the longer they let the Senators hang around, the more they let the Sens believe they have a chance to win this game. For a team like Ottawa that comes in riding a five-game winning streak, it may not take much to get them thinking that way.
End first period, 0-0: And that’s the end of the first period, with still no score and still just a handful of Ottawa shots (five to be exact).
The Bruins had a nice chance late in the period when Patrice Bergeron whirled in the slot and tried to hit Brad Marchand with a pass as the latter came across the front of the crease, but the puck got stuck in Marchand’s skate, and he couldn’t finish.
We’ll attempt to break this one down in a few.
First period, 17:19, 0-0: The Senators can’t do much of anything on the power play yet again. That might be a continuing trend in this one.
But hey, they’re up to four shots on goal.
First period, 14:43, 0-0: This one has been a bit of a snoozefest so far, with still not much going on. The Senators are having problems even getting shots on net, as they have two shots on Tuukka Rask with just over five minutes to play in the first period.
Credit the Bruins’ defensive effort, too, though. Chris Phillips ripped a shot from the point that went wide of Rask, but the carom produced a pretty juicy chance in front of the Boston net, but Adam McQuaid swiped it away and cleared the puck to avoid any danger.
The Senators get another chance, though. They’re going on the power play again after a Chris Bourque hooking penalty.
First period, 13:01, 0-0: The Boston power play doesn’t look much better than the Ottawa man-advantage, and the Bruins squander their first chance of the evening.
First period, 10:09, 0-0: The Bruins continue to display sharp penalty-killing ability, and the game’s first Ottawa power play is killed easily. In the Senators’ defense, working a power play (or any kind of offense) without Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson can’t be fun.
The Bruins will actually get their first chance on the power play now. Dave Dziurzynski was sent to the box for a goalie interference call after crashing into Tuukka Rask in front of the Boston net.
First period, 7:54, 0-0: Back to work for the Bruins’ penalty kill, as Rich Peverley gets called for tripping off of the faceoff coming back from the TV break.
The B’s have killed 24 penalties in a row coming into this game.
First period, 7:48, 0-0: Not much going on in the early goings here at the Garden, with just five combined shots from both teams through the first 7:48.
The Bruins have been on the attack for much of the time, however, with a pretty solid shift from the Patrice Bergeron line just a couple of shifts ago. That offensive possession started with a nice breakout pass from Tyler Seguin that was just a bit too far out of Brad Marchand’s reach. Marchand did a good job of sticking with the play, but wasn’t able to set up Bergeron in front of the net.
It’s kind of a dead crowd thus far. That could be attributed to the lack of action early. That, or Bruins fans have forgotten what happens here after the long layoff. Smart money is on the first option, though.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: Finally, hockey is back at the Garden, as the Bruins and Senators are under way.
6:55 p.m.: Before we get under way here at the Garden, let’s take a look at some of the game notes, shall we?
The Bruins have had their way with Ottawa as of late. The B’s were 5-1-0 last season against the Senators, and they have won nine of their last 10 against their division rivals.
Nathan Horton is just one assist shy of 200 for his career, and Rich Peverley is two points shy of 200 for his career. If Chris Kelly breaks out and scores a pair of goals in this one, he’ll have 100 for his career.
Not only have the Bruins killed 24 straight penalties, they’ve only allowed three power-play goals this year. To put that in perspective, they have two shorthanded goals this season.
The Senators have had problems scoring goals this season, and that will obviously play right into the Bruins’ hands. The B’s are 11-0-0 this season in games they allow two goals or fewer.
6:30 p.m.: As expected, Tuukka Rask and Robin Lehner lead their teams out, and they will be the starting goaltenders.
It will be Lehner’s first start of the year after being recalled from the AHL on Feb. 22.
6:10 p.m.: Good evening from TD Garden hockey fans. Fortunately, I was still able to remember how to make the trek to the rink, where the Bruins are making their first home appearance since Feb. 12. A lot has changed since then, and most of it has been good for the Bruins, who enter this one riding a season-high four-game win streak.
They take on the Senators in their return to Boston. As we mentioned earlier, the Sens have been terrific so far this season, despite a rash of injuries that many, myself included, thought would cripple them. Also as mentioned earlier, goaltending has been the big thing for Ottawa, with Craig Anderson and Ben Bishop playing lights out. However, it would appear that the Senators are going to go with Robin Lehner between the pipes for this one, giving Bishop a well-deserved rest in the midst of some fine play since Anderson went down with an ankle injury.
The Senators got some encouraging signs at morning skate as well. Anderson dressed and did some skating, which is obviously a good sign when you’re talking about a lower-body injury. Milan Michalek returned to practice Wednesday, and he was out there again for morning skate on Thursday. He’s still unlikely to return for another few days or so, but a positive sign no less for Ottawa.
11:51 a.m.: Rask was first off the ice this morning so it’s likely he’s going to get his fifth straight start, as the B’s host the Sens at TD Garden at 7 p.m. ET. It’s the Bruins’ first home game since Feb. 12. ^JB.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins will look to do something Thursday night that they haven’t done in just about an entire month, and that’s win a hockey game at TD Garden.
The B’s haven’t played at home since Feb. 12, and they haven’t won in front of the home crowd since Jan. 29, but they’re about to get a handful of opportunities to get some good home mojo going starting Thursday. The Ottawa Senators are in town for the teams’ first meeting of the season, and it marks the beginning of a stretch in which the B’s will play seven of their next 10 games at home.
On paper, it would seem like a lock that the Bruins would easily be able to continue their four-game winning streak against a banged-up Senators team. However, the Sens are defying the odds for now, as they are improbably rolling. Despite playing without arguably their top two offensive players in Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson, Ottawa is playing great hockey. They come to Boston riding a five-game win streak of their own, and they’re 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
The Senators are finding ways to win with the young roster, but the No. 1 reason for the early success has been goaltending. Craig Anderson was looking like an early-season Vezina candidate before suffering an injury of his own. In his stead, though, big Ben Bishop has stepped up and shined. The 26-year-old has won his last four starts, allowing just six goals in that stretch. He’s coming off of a dazzling 44-save performance against Montreal on Monday night, with the only goal he allowed a power-play tally.
After beating the Canadiens on Monday, Thursday’s matchup with the Bruins is a big one for this Sens team. The B’s come in with a wave of momentum after a successful road trip, and Ottawa can prove it is for real with a win in Boston in the first meeting of the season between these two clubs.
Puck drop at the Garden is slated for 7 p.m.
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