KANATA, ON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Ottawa Senators by a 2-1 score after the first 20 minutes of play at Scotiabank Place.
1) Bruins talked a lot about not overlooking the Senators before a big measuring stick game in Pittsburgh tomorrow night, but their play early in the game speaks of a different story. B’s didn’t look ready to play and the Senators hung two goals on them early in the first period. The first was a pass right through the heart of the Boston defense before Guillaume Latendresse – not known for his speed – went right around Adam McQuaid for a clean back-hander at the net. The second goal was a nice individual play by Kyle Turris off a Nathan Horton turnover on the sideboards. Both were defensive breakdowns by a Boston defense that was slow to react and careless with the puck early.
2) The Bruins had five shots on two power plays in the first period. It certainly does look like they’re operating with more confidence as Dennis Seidenberg hit a post and Horton blew a wide open shot in front after a slick pass to him from Tyler Seguin. But the finish is missing tonight, and that’s a pretty important aspect of the whole power play thing.
3) Tough sequence for Ottawa. Adam McQuaid bumped Chris Neil from behind for a clear boarding infraction, but Neil also looked like he lost his balance pretty quickly/easily. Neil stayed down on the ice and Patrick Wiercioch approached McQuaid for a fight defending his fallen teammate. Instead the Sens get slapped with an instigator and instigator with a visor penalties and the Bruins somehow go on the play. It’s a perfect example of why the instigator penalty sucks and the refs need to use better discretion there. Incidentally Neil was fine and back on the bench shortly after the incident.
4) Shawn Thornton with a workmanlike goal at the end of the first period. He fired a pair of shots from the far right circle, and the second one knuckled through Robin Lehner’s pads for a Boston goal. It’s the second straight game that the B’s fourth line has kicked in some offense, and gave the Bruins back a little momentum.
5) Bad game for Horton. Turnover leading to goal and missing a wide open net on a backhander. He needs to pick up his game a little bit here.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins tied up with the Ottawa Senators by a 2-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at Scotiabank Place.
1) Looks like Chris Neil wanted to take his pound of flesh from the Bruins. He threw a knee at Chris Kelly in the neutral zone that took the B’s third line center right down to the ice. Kelly needed to be helped off the ice and down the runway and never put any weight on his left leg. It appeared on replays that Neil lifted his leg/knee when making contact with Kelly’s knee, but no penalty was called afterward. Deciphering what’s dirty and what isn’t dirty is difficult on fast plays like that with plenty of moving parts, but it looked dirty to me. Kelly never returned to the game.
2) Daniel Paille got behind the Ottawa defense and finished off a breakaway wrist shot to tie the game up. That’s the first time Paille has goals in back-to-back games since 2011, and the scores came in back-to-back games against Philadelphia and Ottawa. You can’t make that stuff up. Good job by WEEI’s Michael Berger for digging that one up.
3) Apparently the Canadian college basketball finals were held at Scotiabank Place all weekend, and might be at least partially to blame for the rough ice conditions affecting the Sens and Bruins. It’s a very lively puck that is a little abnormal for this building. It’s also unseasonably warm outside for Ottawa this time of year, so maybe that’s a factor as well.
4) Two goals for the B’s fourth line in this game. That should keep Felger off the warpath for a while.
5) Ottawa media folks saying there’s no way that Chris Neil could throw a dirty hit on Chris Kelly because they’re “practically brothers.” I think Neil would cross-check his own grand-mother it would help his team win and he’d lost his temper after getting boarded. Sorry, but I’m not buying that one.
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins tied up with the Ottawa Senators by a 2-2 score after the 60 minutes of play at Scotiabank Place – and headed to overtime.
1) Big saves by Robin Lehner and Tuukka Rask in the final minute of the game to preserve overtime. Looked like both teams were playing it safe for the point.
2) Gregory Campbell very nearly connected with the backhand shovel shot in the final minute of the game. Can you imagine if all three members of the fourth line scored in the same game? Mike Felger would get a Friendly’s Fribble headache that just wouldn’t go away.
3) Tough night for Milan Lucic. One shot on net and a minus-2 without much of the energy or physicality that he usually plays with.
4) Good to see Dennis Seidenberg immediately go to Dougie Hamilton’s defense when he was whistled for cross-checking. Senators were trying to get at him, and Seidenberg immediately pinned the attacking player against the boards.
5) No return for Chris Kelly after the knee-on-knee hit in the second period. Not good.