The Boston Bruins management caused a bit of a stir on Friday
morning, calling up goaltending prodigy Niklas Svedberg from their
American Hockey league affiliate in Providence Rhode Island in order to
"have a look" at last season's Baz Bastien Memorial Award.
That will happen on Saturday night in Ottawa on the back end of the home-and-home series with the Senators, but on Friday night, the rookie sat and had a look at how the big boys do it - and what he saw was why Tuukka Rask is one of the best netminders in the business...
|Brad Marchand pots his late shorty in the Bruins' rout|
...and then he witnessed a display of offensive prowess that undoubtedly makes him very glad that he's a Bruin and not a Senator - Reilly Smith finding twine twice and nine different Bruins showing up on the scoresheet as Boston punked visiting Ottawa 5-0 at TD Garden on Friday night.
Jarome Iginla started the scoring and Brad Marchand finished it, with Smith and David Krejci potting the biscuit in between - Rask stellar between the pipes as he stopped 33 shots, nearly half of that total in a first period that saw the Bruins standing around and basking in his greatness.
But after the sure butt-chewing that the team received in the room during the first intermission, Boston came out on fire in the second period and carried the momentum into the final frame, pelting Senators' backup goalie Robin Lehner with 37 rapid fire shots in the final 40 minutes...
...at one point the Bruins' forwards laying pucks out to the blue line for sniper Johnny Boychuck, who fired five absolute rockets - never finding the net, but making Lehner double over in pain after taking one up high.
The Senators dominated play in the first period, outshooting the listless Bruins by a 15-5 clip but stoning all 15, some in spectacular fashion - at one point after Rask had stopped a shot from point blank range he could be seen barking at his defense to get it together and keep the pesky Sens out of the slot.
The message must have gotten across, as the Bruins' defense allowed just 18 shots the rest of the way - and when the Boston defense came out of hibernation, so did the offense.
Just three and a half minutes into the second period and with the Bruins in full sniper mode coming out of the room, Tory Krug launched one of his patented "Krug Misslies" of the chain, Lehner unable to control the rebound which ricocheted into the low slot right to Jarome Iginla who wristed one through a Milan Lucic natural screen for the first goal of the game...
...and, thanks to Rask and the now wide-awake Boston defense, the eventual game winner. But despite the Bruins seizing the momentum and their persistent peppering of Lehner, the Senator's netminder held his post the rest of the period, stoning 19 of 20 to keep Ottawa in the game.
But it was just a matter of time before the Bruins started to find the mark consistently - thirty eight seconds into the third period to be exact.
The onslaught began when David Krejci corraled a weird carom from Matt Bartkowski off the back boards into the low right circle and snapped it home from the tough angle for a two goal lead - Smith then notching his 13th of the season for the dagger...
...Marchand taking a Patrice Bergeron faceoff win in the Bruins' zone and escorting the puck into the Senators' zone on the elft wing, giving the defense a shoulder fake, then sliding the puck across the high slot to the trailing Smith who easily beat Lehner on a textbook two-on-one break and a 3-0 Bruins' lead.
Smith added 14th of the season seven minutes later and Marchand added insult to injury in the final seconds with a short-handed goal for his 9th of the season, providing the final tally and perhaps giving the Senators a little more motivation for Saturday night's back end of the home-and-home, which already was going to be a physical payback effort, but now should be touted as a full-blown grudge match.