“As long as you don’t let frustration creep into your game it definitely goes the right way.” said Andrew Ference in NESN’s post-game interview and that is just what the Bruins demonstrated tonight as they extended their point lead to 5 over the Ottawa Senators.
Going into tonight’s match up the Bruins were hoping to make the first move and avoid any deficit at all costs. Unfortunately just 1:15 into the first the Bruins offense would get caught behind allowing Erik Karlsson to slip one past Thomas and put the Senators up 1-0. With the way the Bruins have been performing lately after being down a goal, it was expected to see their confidence level unravel. Imagine the pleasant surprise when just around three minutes later Patrice Bergeron threw a wrist shot in from a rebound off of Zdeno Chara‘s one-timer, tying the game at one a piece. The Bergeron line would be the line to watch with Marchand and Seguin setting up golden opportunities all night long. With just 3:37 seconds left to go, Seguin threw a heads up pass to Bergeron who relayed to Marchand that put the Bruins up 2-1 heading into the second period. In honor of Gregory Campbell‘s 500th NHL game, the Senators also showed their appreciation by giving him a puck to the face sending him to the locker room a few minutes shy of the end of the first.
As the second period began Boston came out strong with Campbell back on the bench. Bergeron had a nice attempt on Auld that he was able to save with his shoulder, and then would go on to intercept the puck from Greening and fire a second shot. Shots on goal for the second remained in favor of Boston at 29-15 and Carter Camper managed to get his first goal. There was some very nice work by the fourth line with three men behind the net and no one in front. McQuaid took an inital shot and Camper was there to bat it in. Camper on his first goal:
“Whether it was one,five or ten shifts, I just wanted to make a difference. Every game is so exciting, its the NHL, something you always want to be a part of and hopefully I’m able to stick around for a while.”(via NESN Post-game Interviews)
Auld had made some nice saves, but the Bruins were peppering him with shots. The second period proved to be very impressive and the best we have seen the Bruins play in a long time with solid efforts through the first forty minutes. Heading into the third they needed to keep the momentum flowing and their goals unanswered.
The third period was like witnessing an Original Six rivalry. The Senators came out an entirely different team than what fans had seen in the beginning of the game. The first glimpse at the drastic mood change would be when Senators Chris Neil planted a hit on defenseman Johnny Boychuk who was looking across ice to make a play, getting caught off guard. Both players went down to the ice hard and only Neil returned to the game. It has since been reported that:
“He is coming back with us and is doing better already.”-Claude Julien (NESN post-game report)
Shortly after the incident with Boychuk and Neil, which resulted in no penalty, Turris would come flying in behind the net and leave his feet to crush Joe Corvo into the boards. After watching the play under review in regular and slow motion, it was clearly obvious that Turris had made a bad play and thrown a cheap shot. Corvo went down cradling his head but luckily got up on his own and was able to finish the game. On Neil’s next shift out on the ice, just after Turris’ boarding penalty had been cleared out from a power play goal from Krejci, Zdeno Chara would drop the gloves and defend his partner landing right hook after right hook against Neil’s face.
“It was a clean hit. We care for each other and it’s very unfortunate … Hopefully Johnny is going to be okay.”-Zdeno Chara (via NESN post-game interviews)
With just two minutes remaining in regulation and the Senators getting ready to pull Alex Auld from the net, Daniel Alfredsson would take an 80ft pass from Jason Spezza and nail a shot from along the boards putting the Sens within two of the Bruins. With the clock winding down, Daniel Alfredsson tried again on his next shift and once again off of a Spezza pass was able to beat Thomas stick-side, proving his own confidence from the difficult angle. Thomas, who was clearly frustrated, slashing his stick at the post, would go on to keep the Senators from scoring while Bergeron netted the empty netter from the far blue line.
Bergeron was without a doubt tonight’s key player sporting nine shots on goal, two goals(including the game-winner) and an assist with 19:29 of ice time. At a time where the injuries are running high due to the increasing intensity level, you need your key players to step up and that is exactly what Bergeron did, along with his line mates. Captain Zdeno Chara also had a fairly decent night with 22:54 of ice time taking six shots and mustering two assists, sporting a +4, much better than what we were seeing from him at the beginning of the month.
The Bruins head back to Boston for a home match against the Senators and look to provide back-to-back victories going hand in hand with a series sweep. The added two-points would simply be the icing on the cake. With any luck the win-lose-win pattern will be broken and they will be on the road to redemption in the race for the Cup.