All Swede, No Finnish: Rask the Better Goalie
Boston Bruins 2, Ottawa Senators 1 (OT)
As expected last night was a relatively tight match between two teams who had pretty similar stats going into the game. Twenty-one year old, Swede, Robin Lehner was called up from the AHL to hopefully repeat the shutout performance he had in Boston exactly one year before...but he was bested by Patrice Bergeron in overtime.
The first period saw the Bruins kill off their twenty-sixth straight penalty, their best PK record since 2009. The B's also outshot the Sens eleven to five and had twice as many face off wins in the first twenty minutes, despite heading into intermission scoreless.
After the puck spent most of the beginning of the second period in the Bruins zone, Milan Lucic's backcheck kept a play alive for the B's. Dougie Hamilton and Nathan Horton took it from Lucic for a two on one to best Lehner and put the Bruins up 1-0.
After drawing a hooking penalty from Sergei Gonchar, Zdeno Chara ripped a bomb from the point, hoping Rich Peverley could deliver on a juicy rebound, but the Senators had such strong front of the net protection, nothing was getting past. With thirty seconds remaining in the Bruins power play, Chris Bourque got an interference call and caused a four-on-four. Once on their advantage, Ottawa did not quit, driving the net and a patient Jim O'Brien notched his fifth of the season, it wasnt pretty, but it was enough to tie the game which eventually went into overtime.
Dennis Seidenberg set up Bergy who only needed to tip the puck past Lehner's five-hole, the puck slowly slid past the red line and wasn't even ruled a goal until after review. The Bruins walked away with two points, which they need considering how close the northeast is right now and with a matinee game against Tampa Bay tomorrow. Its no secret the Bruins do not enjoy waking up early to play day games and are not always as sharp when playing in daylight.
Anton Khudobin leaked that he'll be in net tomorrow, however Coach Julien did not corroborate this claim...so it's probably true. We're about two weeks away from the half way mark of this shorten season and Boston sits at fourth in the East, despite having the second most points (27 behind the Habs 28). If the playoffs were to start today the Bruins would play the Senators. Not the most comforting of news after a close game like last night. O'Brien's power play goal in the second was made possible by the Bruins lackadaisical performance in the neutral zone. Though surprising to see the B's give up a goal on their NHL leading penalty kill, this behavior in the neutral zone is nothing new. They allowed the Senators to get three times as many shots on Rask in the second than they had in the first, and as previously mentioned, the second period started with mostly Ottawa possession.
Get some rest kiddos...matinee game with Stamkos and the Lightning tomorrow and then the Habs visit Sunday for what is never a disappointing game.
Its going to be a fun hockey weekend in Boston! Keep your heads up and your sticks down.