BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Ottawa Senators locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) Bruins still look like they’re shaking off the egg nog holiday hangover while getting outshot by a 15-5 margin in the first period. Ottawa really pressured the Bruins and kept things tilted in the Boston end from the first shift when Clarke MacArthur got a great scoring chance right in front of the net. Tuukka Rask was forced to slide right to left to make the save, and then he made 14 more of varying degrees of difficulty afterward.
2) Active period for Brad Marchand, who hit the short side post on a 2-on-1 break with Reilly Smith, got called for the game’s only penalty on a high-sticking call and then nearly had an empty net goal when he beat Robin Lehner to a loose puck with the Ottawa goalie way out of the crease. But he couldn’t get a clear shot at the open net as he his momentum carried him past the goal line.
3) Impressive first period for Eric Gryba, who is dropping bodies all over the defensive zone. He was throwing big hits on David Krejci, Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg in the first period, and making his snarly defensive presence felt in the defensive end. It’s a really nice compliment to Erik Karlsson, and something Ottawa desperately needs.
4) Per my good buddy Ian Mendes up in Ottawa, tonight is only the fourth time in 40 games that they’ve been involved in a scoreless first period.
5) Three shots on net for Milan Michalek in the first period to lead the Senators, but they plenty of offensive involvement up and down their lineup. Time for the Bruins to wake up and start playing.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Senators by a 1-0 score after the first 40 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) Bruins are 10-for-28 on the power play during the month of December, which means they’re cranking at a 37 percent success rate this month. That is an unprecedented level of production for a Claude Julien-coached team in Boston, and is giving the B’s a huge special teams’ lift. I guess we know what Julien and power play architect Geoff Ward asked for as a Christmas gift, and they’ve got it now in a big way.
2) Jarome Iginla has six goals in his last nine games, and has back-to-back games with power play goals. It looks like he could really start doing some damage on the PP now that the floodgates are open. His strike in the second period was simply the product of going to the net, and being ready when the puck bounced to him in front after a Torey Krug point shot.
3) The Bruins outshot the Sens by a 20-8 margin in the second period, so now it’s about which team is ready to win the final 20 minutes.
4) Six generated shot attempts, four shots on net and a drawn high-sticking penalty that led to the power play goal for Reilly Smith. He’s had some of Boston’s best chances in the first two periods.
5) Strange play by Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the second period as he negated a high-sticking call on Reilly Smith vs. Erik Condra when he jumped on Smith and yanked him down from behind immediately afterward. It wiped out a PP for the Senators, and left the B’s and Sens with 4-on-4 play for two minutes.