Bruins demolish Senators 7-2 in final game before Olympic break
To say the Bruins closed on a high note is putting it mildly.
photo by S. Babineau/Getty Images
Boston dismantled the Ottawa Senators Saturday at the Garden, scoring a season-high seven goals, with tallies from Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly, Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Carl Soderberg. Chad Johnson put forth another impressive performance, winning his 11th game of the season serving as the backup to Tuukka Rask, who got the day off ahead of his trip to Sochi.
Patrice Bergeron got the ball rolling on the powerplay with his first of two on the day at 11:36 of the first. After some nifty work in the neutral zone from Loui Eriksson, Carl Soderberg and Bergeron worked the give-and-go, allowing Bergy to sneak behind the defense for the return pass, where he corralled the puck with one hand on the stick, got control and beat Chris Anderson under the arm.
Chris Kelly put the B's up 2-0 at 16:26 with his 4th of the year, deflecting a bullet-pass from David Warsofsky over the shoulder of Anderson and under the crossbar.
The Bruins kept it going in the second, and again it was Patrice Bergeron getting it done. In what is probably the new leader for the goal of the year for the Bruins, Bergeron outclassed Sens defender and former Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, freezing him and Anderson for what seemed like forever. Bergeron worked the forehand-backhand past Karlsson and Anderson, and he came back across his body from behind the goal line for the tally. It was a beautiful move by Bergeron.
photo by J. Rogash/Getty Images
Bobby Ryan did get one back for the Sens, beating Johnson five-hole for his 21st of the year at 17:15 of the second. The good vibes didn't last for long, as Jarome Iginla restored the three goal lead with his 17th of the year just a minute later off a slick feed from David Krejci. After getting the puck from Torey Krug, Krejci froze out Sens defenseman Eric Gryba, getting him to one knee, leaving Iginla all alone for the easy tap in off the tape-to-tape pass.
Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Carl Soderberg all added tallies in the third, with a Patrick Wiercoich goal squeezed inbetween. Lucic bagged his 17th of the year off a nice feed from Iginla, who faked a shot point-blank in front of the net and instead passed over to Lucic all in one motion for the one-timer.
Marchand scored his 19th at 8:26 on a tip off a pass from Reilly Smith as both drove the net. Marchand got inside position on Karlsson, who did little to shove Marchand off his path.
Soderberg's goal was a beauty too, as he took a slick feed from Reilly Smith as he came across the blueline and pulled the moves to get around Erik Condra before burying the puck past Lehner's stick side.
When the final horn blew, the scoreboard read 7-2 with the Bruins on the right side, and the Sens left with a bad taste in their mouths as both teams finished up their pre-Olympic schedule.
The Bruins filled up the stat sheet, with seven players recording multi-point games. Patrice Bergeron (2 G, 1 A) and Brad Marchand (1 G, 2 A) had three point days.
So the Bruins, save for the four Olympians (not including the already-in-Sochi-Zdeno Chara) will have the next two weeks off to rest up as the NHL shuts down for the Winter Games.
They definitely earned the time off, as the Bruins played some serious competition in the last four weeks, playing the likes of Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, St. Louis and Montreal. And the two games against the Islanders and these Senators were no givens, as both teams had given the Bruins fits this year.
They didn't mail it in (like the Senators did), and instead they finished strong, especially from the third period vs St. Louis through today.
The 2011-12 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson had an awful day at the office. He got burned on Bergeron's second goal, serving as a mighty fine light-post as Bergy danced around him, as well as getting out-muscled by Marchand on his goal late in the game.
With their captain and best defensive player Zdeno Chara not available for the last two games, the Bruins took three out of four possible points. Not too shabby.
The Bruins powerplay has been on fire of late, as they've scored 11 goals in the last 11 games, without question the best stretch the unit has seen in a real long time.
Kevan Miller put the beat-down on Zack Smith for his second career fighting major. Smith stood no chance, as Miller clocked him a handful of times before driving him into the boards and sending him to the ice.
Massachusetts native David Warsofsky recorded his first career NHL assist with his slick pass to ChrisKelly for his goal in the first period.
The Bruins are inching ever closer to having five 20-goal scorers, as Brad Marchand (19) Reilly Smith (18) Milan Lucic (17) Jarome Iginla (17) and Patrice Bergeron (16)will all reach the plateau by seasons end. David Krejci has an outside chance of reaching the mark, as he has 13 on the year.
The W at The Garden gives the Bruins 23 on the year, tied with Pittsburgh for the best in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins enter the Olympic Break with a record of 37-16-4 for 78 points. They've given themselves a nine-point cushion for the lead in the Atlantic when play resumes on February 26 at Buffalo.