If you were one of the three or four North Americans who weren’t sold on the NHL’s new overtime format entering the weekend, the finish of Saturday night’s Boston Bruins-Ottawa Senators game should have converted you.
Tied at a goal apiece at the end of regulation, the Bruins and Senators proceeded to play four minutes and 22 seconds of wide-open, wildly entertaining 3-on-3 hockey, ending only when Mark Stone roofed the rebound of his own wraparound bid past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask to give the Senators a hard-earned 2-1 victory.
“This was a big game for both teams, and I thought we had some real good chances in the overtime — probably had better chances,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said in a postgame interview with NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley. “But they had that one and made the best of it.”
The teams combined for nearly a dozen scoring chances in less than four-and-a-half minutes (my count had them at five apiece), any of which easily could have ended the game.
For the Bruins, Loui Eriksson had a breakaway attempt stonewalled by Craig Anderson, then later beat the Ottawa goalie but rang the post. The Senators also broke up two grade-A connections between Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and Ryan Spooner’s pass to Colin Miller on a 2-on-1 slid just out of the rookie defenseman’s reach.
Ottawa, meanwhile, fired five shots on Rask before Stone’s winner, including one by a wide-open Erik Karlsson, who had been left all alone in the low slot.
Karlsson was, simply put, a beast for the Senators. The two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman assisted on both Ottawa goals, logged an astounding 32:57 of ice time and did not leave the ice in overtime until more than two-and-a-half minutes had elapsed.
If you weren’t able to catch the game, do yourself a favor and check out the highlights below. Overtime begins around the 3:40 mark.
Thumbnail photo via Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports Images