The Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 tonight before the 220th sellout crowd at the TD Garden. More importantly the Bruins gave a 60 minutes effort and while they had a few defensive break downs, they deserved the win for actions and effort.
The Bruins limited the Sens opportunities by staying out of the penalty box, playing a game of accountability. They had three power play chances but failed to convert, though they had several decent shots during the advantages. A surprise and concern before the game was the announcement that David Krejci wouldn't play for undisclosed reasons. Krejci didn't skate at practice yesterday and the press was told it was a scheduled day off.
The lines seemed more familiar to start the game. The second line reunited Bergeron, Marchand and Smith. The fourth line reunited Campbell, Paille ( though on right wing), and Gagne. Matt Fraser was reunited with Carl Soderbergh and Loui Ericsson as they were a line during last years playoff run. Chris Kelly filled in for Krejci between Lucic and Griffith and had surprising energy. The defense was more of the same from the Buffalo game and again I thought Zach Trotman and Joe Morrow looked anything but out of place. In fact Trotman contributed an assist on the second Matt Fraser goal.
The Bruins paid tribute to Mayor Menino before the game and got off to a fast paced start. Brad Marchand opened the scoring at the 18:59 mark of the first period scoring the last three Boston goals to that point. Can we hope Marchand is starting a bit of a tear, keeping the fingers crossed. Patrice Bergeron won 18 of 24 face-offs for a 75% share, almost unheard of number with over 10 face-offs in a game. One of those face-offs led to a draw right to Marchand for the quick snap shot and the first goal. The Bruins gave up the equalizer though 38 seconds later on a broken play in their own end. Just a note, Dennis Seidenberg got tied up with a linesman and officials are considered part of the ice. At the end of the first period it was 1-1 with the Bruins out shooting the Sens 10-5.
The Bruins came right out unfazed in the second period and applied pressure and maintained possession shift after shift. Finally at 11:14 an Eriksson shot rebounded to Soderberg who shot right back at Robin Lehner. Lerner made the pad save, but the rebound went right to Fraser who buried it high glove side. Two shifts later the Soderbergh line came right back on an outlet pass from Trotman cross ice to Soderberg who feathered a nice lead pass that Fraser collected and sped past Erik Karlsson to fire a snap shot high glove side past Lehner again. The period ended with the Bruins in the lead 3-1 and the Bruins on top with shots 20-15.
In the third period the Bruins kept the pressure on after being lackluster to start the third period in the last two games. Dennis Seidenberg scored his first goal of the season 2:08 in and the Bruins went into defensive pest mode there after. Although Mika Zibanejad scored a meaningless goal with 4:17 left in the game, the Bruins completed the squeeze and shut down the Sens the rest of the way, despite getting 14-10 in the third period.
My three stars of the game; Third Star, Dennis Seidenberg with 22:18 of ice time and a goal. Second Star, Brad Marchand with a goal and a +2. First Star, Matt Fraser with 2 goals, 5 shots in only 10:50 of ice time. Honorable mentions go to Tuukka Rask, Bergeron for his work ethic and face-offs and Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman playing inspired defense for an injury riddled squad. The Razzie Award goes to Erik Karlsson of Ottawa at a -4 and being beat on three of the Boston goals.
Until Next Time!