The Boston Bruins grabbed their fifth consecutive win Saturday night after a strong three-goal third period, but a scary injury to Ottawa Senators right winger Scott Sabourin loomed over the victory.
The incident occurred when Sabourin laid a hit on David Backes at the 16:42 mark of the first period, sending the TD Garden crowd into an eerie silence. The 27-year-old appeared to lose consciousness after colliding with the veteran forward, which caused his head to directly hit the ice and break his fall. Medical staff, accompanied by a stretcher, raced out to attend to the right winger, who left the ice after a 10-plus minute stoppage.
Both teams emptied their benches and stood on the ice as Sabourin was stretchered off, but it was clear the focus wasn’t completely there for either side after the injury. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, along with his players, said that’s understandable.
“I think both teams lose their focus to be honest with you, Jack,” Cassidy told NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley. “I think it’s human nature. You’re always concerned about another individual, especially in that situation. A young guy that’s battled his way to get to the National Hockey League.”
“I remember Scott from the days back in Manchester when I was in Providence. He played hard and unfortunate incident there but what I’ve heard is he’s okay right now in terms of alert and aware, so we wish him the best.”
Patrice Bergeron, who grabbed a goal and an assist Saturday, also noted that it’s easy to lose your focus in a situation like that.
“Obviously you have to try and stay focused, but it’s not easy,” Bergeron said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “In that particular moment your thoughts and prayers are with Scott and obviously you hope that he’s got a speedy recovery. And on our side, same thing with (Backes). It’s not easy when a play like that happens. So it took us a little bit of time probably, but I think that’s understandable.”
Brad Marchand began his postgame availability by discussing the difficult situation, while sending his thoughts to Sabourin.
“Yeah first off, extremely unfortunate what happened with Sabourin. We’re all thinking about him and hope that he’s okay,” Marchand said. “You never want to see that happen to anybody and it’s scary. It kind of shakes you after that happens. It’s tough to get back into the mindset of playing a game. But I think everyone just kind of got through that period and after the first just try to regroup and get back at it.”
Similar to his teammates, Brandon Carlo spoke about what it was like to try and regroup out there on the ice after seeing an injury unfold.
“Obviously that’s not something you want to see,” Carlo said. “It’s something that — we have a lot of respect for players and injuries obviously. It effected us all in a way, but we had to regroup mentally. It was a little bit of a long break there, so overall just get our feet back underneath us and go from there.”
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Senators game:
— David Pastrnak collected his 13th goal of the season, which is tied for the league-lead with Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl.
Pastrnak added two assists in the win to continue his ridiculous pace to begin the 2019-20 season. His 27 points are the most through the Bruins’ first 13 games of a season since Bobby Orr in 1974, per Sportsnet Stats.
— Bergeron etched his way into some Bruins history as well Saturday night.
The 34-year-old center collected his 500th career assist en route to a three-point night, making him the sixth player in Bruins history to record at least 500 career regular-season assist, per NHL PR.
— Tuukka Rask quietly had a nice night Saturday, pushing aside 30 of 32 shots to grab his seventh win of the year.
Rask has yet to lose in regulation this season, sporting a 7-0-1 record to go along with a 1.49 goals against average.
— The Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday at TD Garden. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET.