Last night the Bruins, who are the best team on the road this season, took on the Senators, who are the best home team this season in Ottawa. With these teams being having the best records on the road and at home, and with their recently strengthened rivalry, you know this would be a close, grinding game for both. After the Senators scored 55 seconds into the game, and again six minutes later, things were looking grim for the Bruins. But as they’ve shown all season, the Bruins have the potential to overcome a deficit.. and they did once again. One of the best parts of this win is that the Bruins’ goals game from players who haven’t scored much this season, and usually don’t. The first one came from Shawn Thornton with less than a minute to go in the first period.
Also in the first period, almost 12 minutes in, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid hit Chris Neil into the boards. Neil totally took a dive, laying there like he was hurt. However, if you watch the video (see below), you will see that he was already falling and McQuaid barely tapped him. The Senators’ Patrick Wiercioch then engaged McQuaid and they had a short fight, both getting in some good punches.
About half of a minute into the second period, the Senators’ Chris Neil collided with The Bruins’ Chris Kelly, making knee-to-knee contact. It was not considered intentional by the refs or the NHL head office as Neil received no penalty or discipline. But I’m not convinced. Not only does Neil have a track record of being dirty, but if you watch the video (see below), it looks very much like Neil aimed to hit Kelly’s knee and even lifts his own knee to make sure he injures Kelly and not himself. Furthermore, it’s conceivable that he wanted revenge for the McQuaid’s hit on him in the first period. Kelly was helped off of the ice and at this point there is no word on his status, though he did travel with the team to Pittsburgh.
The Bruins continued to fight hard and almost nine minutes into the second period, David Krejci took the puck in the Bruins’ end and gave a great pass ahead to Daniel Paille who was all alone at center-ice. Paille then had a breakaway and scored with a great top-shelf wrist shot to tie the game. They continued to grind out the game and it eventually went to a shootout, but not for a lack of great offensive plays and scoring chances.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask also had a big night with 30 saves on 32 shots, including stopping the Senators’ one power play shot. He ended the game with a 0.938 save percentage. He also made two big saves during the shootout to help the Bruins to a win. One of those saves was against Kaspars Daugavins, who had a crazy attempt. He held the puck under the end of his stick the whole time, then spun around right in front of Rask. But Rask made a great pad save with his extended left leg (see video below). Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were the shootout scorers for the Bruins.
The Ottawa Senators are yet another team that you could say the Bruins own. The Bruins have now beaten the Senators in Ottawa for 10 straight games dating back to 2009! With a 9-1-2 record in road games, this has been the best road start to a season in Bruins history! Another nice statistic is that when leading after two periods this season, the Bruins have a 10-1-2 record.
Something else worth noting is that with this win, head coach Claude Julien is now tied with Milt Schmidt for second all-time in wins for Bruins coaches! This was his 245th win with the Bruins since taking over in the 2007-08 season. He now trails only Art Ross. This game was also a milestone for two of Boston’s players. This was defenseman Zdeno Chara’s 500th game with the Bruins and center David Krejci’s 400th game with them.
This was the Bruins’ third straight win. The most recent of which (before this game) was a 3-0 win over the Flyers on Saturday. This too was a great game as they are another rival of ours, but also because we played really well. The three goals game in a flurry, all in a span of about two an a half minutes early in the game. The first goal was by Tyler Seguin, and if was during a power play. Wooooo! Those who pay close attention to the Bruins know that they haven’t had a very potent power play. So it was good to see them score during one. The next goal was by Chris Kelly. This was also great to see as he and his line have been the subjects of scrutiny for not contributing much this season. The third goal was by Daniel Paille, whose line has also been called lacking, so this was big too. After that they stayed strong to keep the lead. Rask had a great game too, earning his second shutout of the season. He made 23 saves on 23 shots, including four of four during Flyers power plays. His save percentage was, of course, 1.000. As expected, this game had a fight too. None other than Shawn Thornton took on Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo got a couple of punches in, but they Thornton connected with a big uppercut and took him down with a right hook.
The Bruins are still on a roll. They’ve won nine of their last 11 games and five of the last six on the road, still earning a point in the one they lost. The offense is getting better and better, making some great plays recently. The defense continues to hold opponents down. Finally, Tuukka Rask, is looking as great as ever, earning another shutout and making some huge saves in recent games. Things are looking really good for the Bruins. They are still second in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind the Montreal Canadiens and having played three fewer games than them. They are also still fourth in the league. They also still lead in penalty kill percentage at 92.3%. They opened the season with 27 straight penalty kills and later had a streak of 24. Their current streak is at 16. They are also still leading the league in faceoff win percentage, at 57.1%, much thanks to Patrice Bergeron.
From the 3/11/13 Senators game:
Here’s a video of Chris Neil diving, Patrick Wiercioch fighting Adam McQuaid:
Here’s a video of Chris Neil hitting Chris Kelly in the knee:
Here’s a video of Daniel Paille’s breakaway goal:
Here’s a video of Kaspars Daugavins’ crazy shootout attempt (Rask save):
Here are extended highlights from the game:
Here are shorter highlights from the game:
From the 3/9/13 Flyers game:
Here’s a video of the Bruins’ flurry of three goals:
Here’s a video of Shawn Thornton fighting and taking down Zac Rinaldo:
Here’s a video of the highlights from the game:
Thanks for reading,