KANATA, ON – It’s bound to happen sooner or later, but it won’t be this time.
David Krejci roofed a shot in the extra session shootout to give the Bruins a 3-2 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place, and hand Boston their 10th straight win on the road in Ottawa.
Tuukka Rask made a brilliant doorstep save on Daniel Alfredsson in the final seconds of overtime to push it to the shootout, and had 30 saves in all for the evening.
The Bruins fell down early by a 2-0 score as the Senators struck for a goal just 55 seconds into the first period, and then Kyle Turris struck again on a Nathan Horton turnover nearly seven minutes later. Meanwhile Boston hadn’t registered a single shot on net in that time period over the first eight minutes of the game, and looked like they’d hit the snooze button in their Ottawa hotel too many times.
But the Bruins finally snapped awake and Boston’s fourth line struck for a goal at the end of the first period that finally swung some momentum the Black and Gold’s way. Shawn Thornton fired one shot from the right face-off circle that handcuffed Robin Lehner, but the Sens goalie managed to stop the puck. The puck found Thornton in the same spot and again he fired a knuckle puck at the net that somehow squirted through Lehner’s pads.
That allowed the Bruins to head into intermission down by a single goal, and set things up for the middle 20 minutes.
This time fellow fourth liner Daniel Paille slipped behind the Ottawa defense, and snapped home a breakaway wrist shot past Lehner after David Krejci executed the tape-to-tape stretch pass. Unfortunately the Bruins also appeared to have lost Chris Kelly to injury as Senators tough guy Chris Neil hit the third line center in the left leg with what video replays looked like was a knee-on-knee hit.
GOLD STAR: Three shots on net, two hits and a plus-2 in under 10 minutes of ice time gets a gold star for Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton. The winger made the turning point play of the game when he lifted a knuckle puck shot at the net that appeared to hit something before it wobbled through Robin Lehner’s pads with 54 seconds remaining in the first period. The goal put Boston on the board after Ottawa had roared out of the starting gate and handed them the momentum they badly needed for the final 40 plus minutes of action.
BLACK EYE: Nathan Horton had four shots, but he also coughed up a puck in the defensive zone off the side boards that led to Kyle Turris’ first period goal. He compounded that mistake by missing wide left with a backhanded shot at an open net after a slick pass from Tyler Seguin during a first period power play chance. After that Horton was pretty much invisible for the entirety of the evening as other players needed to step up in a sleepy, inconsistent effort against the Senators. Not a blue ribbon kind of night for Horton.
TURNING POINT: See Gold Star. The Bruins were 54 seconds away from going into the first intermission down 2-0 after a dog’s breakfast of a first period, but the fourth line provided energy and secondary scoring. Thornton and Daniel Paille nearly hooked up for a goal during the same shift, so the B’s enforcer came right back with a wobbly shot from the right circle. Somehow it handcuffed Lehner and skipped through his pads before landing past the goal line. Thornton seemed to think it was a “better lucky than good” kind of goal, but the fourth line will take them any way they can get them. That little piece of earned momentum helped push Boston forward over the next two periods and extra sessions.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask looked a little shell-shocked in the first period as weird deflections and a Nathan Horton turnover quickly gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead before the Bruins even had a registered shot on net. But the Finnish goalie went on to make 30 saves and shut down the Senators over the course of the game, including a big stop on Daniel Alfredsson on the doorstep right in the closing seconds of overtime. Rask then stood tall in the shootout including a great left leg pad save on Kaspars Daugavins’ toe puck spin-o-rama trick shot during the shootout. Rask now holds a share of the NHL lead with 13 wins on the season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – the number of consecutive wins for the Bruins over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place dating back to April 7, 2009. Credit to CSNNE producer Dave Green for looking this up: Manny Fernandez was in net, Phil Kessel scored a goal and Marc Savard had a pair of assists in the loss.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Merlot for everybody.” –Shawn Thornton on what would have happened if Gregory Campbell scored on a near overtime game-winner after fellow fourth liners Thornton and Daniel Paille had scored the goals in regulation.