Bergeron and Turris battle for a loose puck. (Photo via: CSNNE)
What an exciting start to this one! With an intense atmosphere and just a four point difference in the standings, both teams were ready from the drop of the puck. Andrew Hammond came into tonight's game with a 11-0-1 record and ready to break an NHL record. Kyle Turris helped his bid for that record early as he opened the scoring just :19 seconds into the game, beating Tuukka Rask off of a rebound that seemed to have handcuffed him. Turris controlled the puck at the top of the crease as Rask was down and out, sliding the puck into an empty net.
The Bruins and Carl Soderberg had something to say about that as Soderberg entered the offensive zone with some speed and drifted towards center ice. Andrew Hammond was clearly screened as Soderberg was able to rifle it home, tying the game after just one minute of play in the first period. Just moments later, great forechecking by Ryan Spooner led to him scoring on a tip from Milan Lucic who was setup beautifully by David Pastrnak. Spooner has constantly been in great position and was rewarded for his excellent play. That lead sadly wouldn't last for long as Milan Michalek was able to tie the game as a bad pass resulted in a favorable bounce for Ottawa leaving another wide open net. During the final eight minutes of play, the Bruins lackluster attitude and play reared its ugly head and almost gave Ottawa another lead. Luckily for Rask and the Bruins, the first period ended in 2-2 tie.
The second period kept fans on the edge of their seats as there was back and forth action at both ends of the ice. David Legwand took Ottawa ahead with a beautiful one timer past Rask to the glove side. Daniel Paille couldn't get to the loose puck fast enough which set up a flawless passing play from Alex Chiasson and Eric Condra. The Bruins were able to answer moments later as Spooner blasted his second goal of the night past Hammond, snapping the Hamburglar's streak at 11 games of allowing only two goals or less. Spooner has revitalized the Bruins power play with his speed and positioning, this time on a 5 on 3. However, just fifteen seconds later, a defensive zone blunder by Reilly Smith resulted in Jean-Gabriel Pageau scoring a short handed goal.. wide open in front of Tuukka Rask. Just an unacceptable play at this stage of the game and Rask was furious. At this point, I was looking for any type of anxiety medication possible. The back and forth pace of this game made it feel like a playoff environment, and the Bruins showed their grit and determination by tying the game yet again. A scrum in front of the net after a screen shot led to a backhand from Torey Krug, beating Hammond to tie the game at four all. The hunger was present in the Bruins play as they continued to battle and not let the small mistakes interfere with their mission.
There was plenty more back and forth action in the third period, both teams with small offensive bursts. Both goaltenders were keeping their teams in it, making big saves on high percentage scoring chances. Rask was called upon to make a big blocker save on Chiasson during a 2 on 1 Ottawa rush halfway through the third period. Hammond also came up with a huge blocker save as Max Talbot stole it in the offensive zone and was all alone just above the right hash marks. With 8:32 left in the game, Bobby Ryan fired a shot on goal and a bad rebound from Rask led to the puck bouncing off of Chara in front and finding its way into the back of the net. Ultimately, bad turnovers and unnecessary penalties led to the Bruins downfall. Rask skated to the Bruin bench with 1:50 remaining, but it wouldn't be nearly enough as Turris potted his second of the game into the empty net and a rain of hamburgers came down in Ottawa.
The Bruins fall 6-4 to the Senators and with only 11 games remaining, every point will be crucial. Andrew Hammond didn't get the record, but played wonderfully despite giving up four goals. His record improves to an astonishing 12-0-1 and has yet to be beaten in regulation. On the bright side, Bruins legend Frank Brimsek won't have to give up his record tonight.
"Mr. Zero", Frank Brimsek. (Photo via: iCollector Autographs)
Mr. Zero will hang on to his record and will always be remembered as one of hockey's best goaltenders.
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