Khudobin shines as Bruins squeeze by Senators, 2-1

Khudobin shines as Bruins squeeze by Senators, 2-1
March 21, 2013, 10:30 pm
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KANATA, ON – Dennis Seidenberg doesn’t score many goals, but he usually makes them count.

The German defenseman rocked a long bomb shot from the right point off a Patrice Bergeron face-off win for his first goal of the season with 1:04 to go in the third period, and the Bruins took a tight 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

After a scoreless first both teams got on the goal with fluky goals in the second period.

Kaspars Daugavins gave the Sens a lead when he fired a puck from well beyond the left face-off circle that crossed through a Mika Zibanejad high stick in front of the net as he cruised through the slot.

Boston tied it up in the final two minutes of the second period when Johnny Boychuk spotted Daniel Paille streaking down the right wing.

Ottawa defenders were distracted by Tyler Seguin powering down the middle of the ice, and that gave Paille shooting space from the right face-off dot. He beat Robin Lehner to the glove hand and that tied things up at 1-1 apiece.

Anton Khudobin was the gate keeper for the Black and Gold at the end of both the first and second period. He made a succession of three saves against Kyle Turris, Jakob Silfverberg and Patrick Wiercioch at the end of the first period, and then shut down Silfverberg again at the end of the second period after Paille’s goal.

Coaches often talk of the timely saves at the key point in games, and Khudobin had all of those for an offensively challenged Bruins team on Thursday night amid his 27 total stops.

GOLD STAR: The Bruins fourth line essentially supplanted the third line with the way they played, and contributed a key goal at the end of the second period courtesy of Daniel Paille. They also had 14 shots on net between Paille, Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, which was the most of any of the four Boston forward lines. The Bergeron line finished with six shots on net, the Krejci line had five shots on net and the Spooner line finished with a single shot on net and zero shots from either Jay Pandolfo or Jordan Caron. Claude Julien may be onto something feeding the fourth line more minutes until they can salvage something out of a third line that’s been an offensive black hole for the entirety of the season.

BLACK EYE: Zero shots on net and a minus-2 for Daniel Alfredsson in 20:02 of ice time for the Ottawa Senators in the tough loss for them. The Sens had some exotic-sounding forwards that were really going for the entire game like Jakob Silfverberg, Kapsars Daugavins and Mika Zibanejad, but the future Hall of Famer didn’t seem to have much gas in the tank despite his lofty minute totals. Perhaps it’s a good thing the Bruins won’t have a chance to trade for him because the great Swede might be coming to the end of the line quickly.

TURNING POINT: The game really turned when Daniel Paille got a goal in the final two minutes of the second period and gave the Bruins a tiny sliver of hope for victory in the third period. Prior to that point the Ottawa defense had done a good job of frustrating the Bruins in the neutral zone and keeping them to the perimeter for all of their shots in the attack zone. The difference was Boston’s energy line stepping up and becoming a third forward group that Ottawa had to worry about when Paille produced the game-tying goal headed into the second intermission.

HONORABLE MENTION: It was to be Anton Khudobin even though Dennis Seidenberg potted the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the third period in dramatic fashion. But it was the Bruins backup netminder that stood like a stone wall at the end of the first period and second period when Ottawa came on the attack in the offensive end: he stopped shots from Kyle Turris, Jakob Silfverberg and Patrick Weircioch in succession at the end of the first period and then stoned Silfverberg again at the end of the second period by making a stop with the handle of his stick to keep it a 1-1 game. In all Khudobin finished with 27 saves and many of them were big ones at the delicate point in the game where winning and losing was on the line.

BY THE NUMBERS: 11 – the number of consecutive wins for the Bruins over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place which dates back to the 2009 season, and

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Today was a struggle for all of us. It seemed like we didn't really skate that well, but at the end it was 2 points." –Dennis Seidenberg summing up his feelings after potting the game-winning goal in the third period of a game that was far from Boston’s best.