The Ottawa Senators clinched a playoff berth and leaped over the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division with a 2-1 shootout victory at TD Garden on Thursday night.
The Bruins still can avoid the first-place Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs if they beat the Caps on Saturday afternoon in Boston.
The B’s dropped to 44-30-7 with the loss, while the Sens improved to 43-27-10.
Here’s how it all went down.
Drew Stafford scored his second goal in as many games when he converted on a wraparound to give Boston an early 1-0 lead. The power-play tally was Stafford’s fourth goal in 17 games with the Bruins since they acquired him at the trade deadline.
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. Shortly after, he was ruled out by the B’s for the rest of the game.
B’s interim head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t have an update on Krug’s status in his postgame interview on NESN’s “Bruins Overtime Live.”
Senators forward Alex Burrows scored at 7:37 of the second period to tie the score 1-1.
It was Burrows’ second goal in three games against the Bruins as a member of the Sens. They acquired him at the trade deadline.
The Bruins went the first 10:06 of the third period without a shot on goal. The Senators love to clog the neutral zone and play a boring brand of hockey built on counter attacking, and that was evident in a 1-1 game that Ottawa desperately needed points from.
The action did pick up in intensity, though, as Adam McQuaid absolutely crushed Viktor Stalberg along the boards in the Bruins’ zone.
Zdeno Chara and Ryan Dzingel also got mixed up toward the end of the period and received minor penalties. Chara went off for interference, while Dzingel was hit with slashing.
The Senators clinched a playoff spot by earning a point after regulation. It’s their first Stanley Cup berth since 2015 and second in the last four seasons. It’s also an impressive accomplishment given the fact few fans and media members picked the Sens to reach the postseason. First-year head coach Guy Boucher has done a nice job maximizing the production of his role players.
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson stopped Ryan Spooner, Stafford and Patrice Bergeron in the shootout to secure two huge points in the playoff race. Senators center Kyle Turris scored the only goal of the shootout.
The Bruins host the Washington Capitals at TD Garden on Saturday in their final regular-season game. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images