The Bruins have become masters of the quick strike attack over the last several seasons, and it helped them again in their time of need against the Ottawa Senators.
The Bruins were down by a pair of goals late in the second period and were getting outshot by a 13-4 margin in a middle block of time they were badly losing to a hungry, young Sens bunch.
But that all changed with Milan Lucic potting his 17th goal of the season with 46 seconds left before the second intermission, and pulling the Bruins to within a single goal of a 3-3 score. Claude Julien was quick to say afterward that Lucics goal didnt swing any momentum, but instead merely let the Bs know they had a chance to come back if their director really killed it.
Brad Marchand and Dennis Seidenberg cooperated with a pair of third period goals to pull the rug out from under the Senators, and the Bs improved to 10-1-1 while scoring a goal within the last two minutes of any period this season. Thats the quick strike cause and effect, and the demoralized look from Ottawa in the third period spoke volumes about the goals effect.
Its huge. Obviously its a great way to finish off a period, feeling good about yourself heading into the dressing room," said Lucic, who holds five points in the last four games. "It still wasnt that great of a feeling because we felt like we got outworked and lost a lot of battles in the second period.
"But in the end we still had some confidence knowing that we were just one goal down . . . instead of two goals down heading into the third. And obviously our power play came up big and we were able to pull one through.
The Marchand goal was a thing of beauty as he muscled Chris Phillips off the puck in front of the Ottawa net, and Dennis Seidenbergs game-winner should have plenty of people talking given that the shot was fired from center-ice at TD Garden.
But it was Lucic, who took a Rich Peverley feed off the side wall, that went bombing down the lane and fired away with a blistering wrist shot that completely hand-cuffed Anderson. That goal wasnt the moment that turned the tide for the Black and Gold, but it did give them a pathway to success where there hasnt always been one over the last month of hockey. Instead Lucics goal was a stark reminder that their power forward fills a huge role on a Bruins team that badly needs him.
We didnt see the Lucic goal as a momentum shift. We kind of looked at it as, were fortunate now that were only one goal behind after two periods," said Julien. "It just put us in a better position. I think what we did is we recognized that we werent playing very well. We had to be a lot better in the third period, and that goal just kind of game us some hope that the next goal hopefully would be ours. Wed be in a tie game and then scrape away from there.
I really thought our guys focused; their intent is there. Were just fighting it right now, and every game seems to be a battle for us to win. Hopefully that third period is something we can start off with next game, with Carolina coming in, a team that we havent beaten yet this year. So Im hoping that we can kind of get some confidence from that third period and go from there. Were a little out of sync. We look rusty, especially offensively. We dont look like a very confident team right now."
So while all of the fanfare will be all about Bostons third period revival thats been going for the better of the season, it should be about the quick strike offensive philosophy that once again paid dividends for the Bs.