The Bruins came into tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators only 3 points ahead of them in the standings. Even with Boston having 3 games in hand, tonight’s contest certainly was important, especially as the end of the season creeps closer and closer.
The Senators grabbed a quick 1-0 lead when Jason Spezza was able to draw in the back checking Bruins and find an open Erik Karlsson who snapped the puck past Tim Thomas. Patrice Bergeron tied the game up just two minutes later. Tyler Seguin controlled the puck in the offensive zone and sent a pass to Zdeno Chara at the point. Bergeron collected the rebound, spun around the slot, and whipped the puck behind Alex Auld.
Ottawa had a couple of other chances late in the period. Colin Greening broke in alone on Thomas and tried to go high but the puck found the back of Thomas’ glove. A routine dump-in by the Senators Kyle Turris took an odd bounce off the backboards and slid across an empty Bruins crease before Dennis Seidenberg was able to slap it away.
Brad Marchand gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 16:13 of the period. Chara gained possession of the puck at the Bruins blue line and hit Bergeron at the center circle. Bergeron slid the puck over to Marchand who buried it behind Auld.
The Bruins extended their lead early into the 2nd when rookie Carter Camper backhanded a puck past Auld to score his first career NHL goal.
The 3rd period proved to be a physical one. Johnny Boychuck and Chris Neil collided along the boards, knocking Boychuck out of the game (his status as of right now is uncertain). Not long after, Joe Corvo took a shot to the head by Turris that resulted in the Bruins defenseman sprawled out on his back holding his head. The hit earned the Bruins a power play and it will definitely earn a look by Brendan Shanahan, the leagues chief player disciplinarian.
David Krejci started the scoring in the period with a power play goal at 10:24. Krejci took a Seidenberg rebound off of the backboards and fired it through traffic into the back of the net. The physical play picked back up with 7 minutes left to go when Chara dropped the gloves with Neil. The scruff ended with Neil on top of the Bruin captain, but it was nice to see Chara step up for Boychuck with Shawn Thornton out of the line-up (sick).
The Senators made one last stand late in the period. With Boston down to only four available defensemen (Boychuck out and Chara penalized), Daniel Alfredsson netted two goals less then two minutes apart to cut the lead to one. Ottawa kept up the pressure but Bergeron sealed it with an empty net goal from his own blue line, 129 feet away, to give the Bruins a 5-3 win.
The Bruins play the back end of their home-and-home against Ottawa Tuesday night at the TD Garden. Puck drop is at 7 PM.