The Boston Bruins picked an excellent time to record their first victory against the Ottawa Senators this season.
Thanks to a third-period comeback, the Bruins edged the Senators 2-1 to pick up an impressive win at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday night.
Tuukka Rask was tremendous in net for Boston, as he turned away 26 of 27 Ottawa shots on goal.
With the win, the Bruins take a 1-0 series lead over the Senators.
Here’s how it all went down.
The Bruins were without several key players in Game 1. Injuries to Torey Krug (lower body) and Brandon Carlo (concussion) kept both defensemen out of the lineup, prompting the NHL debut of 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy.
While he was expected to be good to go, David Krejci (upper body) was a late scratch from the contest, with Sean Kuraly starting in his place.
But even for usual Boston starters, the postseason was unfamiliar territory, as several Bruins made their Stanley Cup playoff debut Wednesday.
Playoff hockey institutes a whole other level of intensity and pace, and both teams manifested that in the first period. While the game remained scoreless after the opening 20 minutes, the contest did not lack high energy and excitement. Both clubs had several scoring opportunities, as the Bruins posted 14 shots on net while Ottawa logged nine.
Each team’s best chance came via a breakaway. David Pastrnak had a golden scoring opportunity when he had a clear path to the Senators’ end, but the winger slipped and fell into Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. Derick Brassard found himself on a breakaway on the ensuing possession, but Rask stonewalled him with a pad save.
The B’s managed to receive three power plays in the first frame, but came up short on each of the man advantages. Still, Boston’s pressure was impressive to start the game, as the B’s recorded 9:39 of zone time to Ottawa’s 7:13.
SENS DOMINATE SECOND
While Boston controlled the opening frame for the most part, it was a much different story in the second period. After a bevy of scoring chances in the first 20 minutes, the Bruins offense was non-existent in the ensuing period as they didn’t record a single shot on net.
The Senators offense, on the other hand, came out firing in the second period and accounted for 12 shots on net. While Rask turned away most of the chances, he wasn’t able to stop a great offensive series from Bobby Ryan. Just over half way through the second period, the veteran winger followed up his own shot and gave the Senators a 1-0 lead.
To make matters worse for the Bruins, their defense took another blow in the second frame. Already without core blueliners Krug and Carlo, Boston’s defense lost Colin Miller after a knee-on-knee collision with Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki.
All things considered, the second period was a forgettable 20 minutes for the Bruins.
BRUINS COME ALIVE
After a putrid second period, Boston needed a strong final frame if it had any chance of staying afloat in Game 1. The Bruins would do just that, starting with Vatrano. Just under five minutes into the third period, Vatrano knotted the score at 1-1 with a quick wrist shot past Craig Anderson.
Boston would ride the momentum of Vatrano’s goal throughout the third period, capped off by a late go-ahead goal from Marchand. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Marchand capitalized off of a rebound from a Patrice Bergeron shot to give the B’s a 2-1 edge.
From there, the Bruins defense stood tall and hung on for a hard-fought Game 1 victory.
The Bruins and Senators will do battle again in Game 2 of the series Saturday afternoon. Puck drop at Canadian Tire Centre is set for 3 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports Images
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