The Boston Bruins continue to struggle, falling to a less than stellar Ottawa Senators team 3-2. With today’s loss, the B’s have only taken away two points in their last five games.
Forward David Krejci did not make his return, though he’s been practicing with the team since they’ve returned from their disastrous West Coast road trip. No changes were made to the defensive lineup, as defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Joe Morrow were the two healthy scratches for the third game in a row.
A high-sticking penalty against Zdeno Chara put the B’s on the PK only 5:20 into the game, and the Sens were unable to score. During the penalty, Brad Marchand had an excellent chance to score on an empty net – Marchand intercepted the puck as Sens’ goalie Robin Lehner came out to play the puck after the Bruins cleared, but defenseman Erik Karlsson blocked the shot. With less than nine minutes left in the first, the Bruins were short-handed again, as Marchand sat for tripping. Chara took away the boards in the offensive zone and attempted a clear. Kyle Turris couldn’t handle the clearing attempt, and Craig Cunningham pushed the puck up ice, outracing the Sens and beating Lehner for a short-handed goal to give the B’s the lead.
The Sens got a chance early, with Tuukka Rask making a few sprawling saves, including a pad save on a good shot from Erik Karlsson. Two and a half minutes into the second, Mika Zibanejad tied the game for the Sens, capitalizing on a Marchand turnover and faking a slap shot before beating Rask. Milan Lucic and Mark Borowiecki tangled in the Sens’ end after Lucic took what he believed to be an elbow to the head and there was no call. Taking matters into his own hands, Lucic threw some hard punches and ultimately took down Borowiecki.
Daniel Paille had a very good chance to take the lead, but as what seems to be a frustrating trend for both this team and Paille, the puck rang the post. With less than ten minutes left in the second, a nice pass from Kevan Miller to Loui Eriksson put the Bruins up 2-1. Rask made the save of the game with less than four minutes to go, sliding from left to right to rob Colin Greening of the tying goal with his right pad. The final two minutes saw some great offensive chances for the Bruins, but the second ended with the B’s still up 2-1.
Marchand had a strong chance to start the third, trying to go backhand, but the puck slowed down off of Cody Ceci’s stick and trickled down for Lehner to make the save. An interference call on Chara sent the Bruins to their third PK of the game, and David Legwand tied the game for the Sens. Legwand was sent to the box for interference shortly after, but the B’s couldn’t produce. Patrice Bergeron left the ice during the third period after taking a slash to the left hand that wasn’t called. The game headed to OT, still knotted 2-2.
Patrice Bergeron rejoined the time for the start of OT. Head Coach Claude Julien chose to go with three forwards, one defenseman for the duration of OT. The Sens had the best chances during OT, with Rask robbing both Karlsson and Bobby Ryan. The B’s had a quick 3-on-1 but frustratingly were unable to get a shot on net. Neither team was able to pull ahead, sending this game to a shootout.
Reilly Smith was stopped, and Zibanejad was able to get the puck past Rask. Marchand beat Lehner, and Rask stopped Turris. Lehner stopped Bergeron, and Bobby Ryan beat Rask to steal the win for the Senators.