Thursday, February 28, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bruins 2, Senators 1 (OT)
By James Murphy
BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron scored the overtime winner with 1:21 left and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves as the Bruins won their fifth straight to pull into sole possession of second place in the Northeast Division. Nathan Horton had the other goal for the Bruins.
Ottawa got a goal from Jim O'Brien and a brilliant performance from goalie Robin Lehner, who made 44 saves.
Bergeron's grit gets winner: Bergeron's game winner typifies his all-around gritty style. Bergeron as always was down low, paying the price, and was in the right place at the right time to tip home the goal. Bergeron now has a goal and two assists in his past two games, and four goals and 10 assists on the season. But points are only half of arguably the best two-way player's game, which was on display once again Thursday.
Goalie duel: When eyeing this game on the calendar two weeks ago, fans may have been excited to see two early-season Vezina Trophy candidates go at it in Rask and Craig Anderson, but Anderson went down with a sprained ankle last week and instead it was Lehner who faced the Bruins Thursday. The Swedish netminder didn't disappoint, as he almost stole a win from the Bruins with some amazing goaltending. At the other end, Rask was excellent once again as he won his fifth straight start. Two of the biggest saves came in overtime as Rask made two huge stops on an Ottawa power play early in the extra frame.
Thursday night special for Horton: Last Thursday at Tampa Bay, Nathan Horton scored two goals to help his team to a 4-2 win. A week later Horton lit the lamp 5:48 into the second period for his seventh goal of the season. Horton now has three goals and an assist in his past four games, and he continues to have a solid comeback from his past two concussion-plagued seasons.
Lucic's hard work paying off: Milan Lucic might not be scoring goals at the pace fans would like, and he did take a penalty with 31.6 seconds left in regulation, but he deserves credit for how hard he's been working out there this season. Lucic has still been a physical presence and he is doing the little things to help create opportunities for his linemates. A perfect example of that was not just the assist he got on Horton's second-period goal, but what he did to start that play -- walking the blue line and saving the puck from leaving the offensive zone. Lucic now has a goal and two assists in his past three games, but it's the little things that have the big winger making a difference right now.
Penalty-kill streak snapped: The Bruins finally gave up a power-play goal after killing off 27 straight. O'Brien's power-play tally at 14:38 of the second period was the first power-play goal the Bruins allowed since Feb. 6 in a 2-1 win at Montreal. That was their longest streak since they killed off 28 straight from March 1-11 in 2007. Nonetheless, the Bruins came up big when it counted most, killing off a penalty to start overtime.
Letdown hits in second period: The Bruins outshot Ottawa 18-15 in the middle frame, but there were plenty of mental lapses coach Claude Julien couldn't have been happy with. Bad penalties (including the dreaded too many men on the ice), errant passes and a more passive approach in their own end made for a period they were lucky to come out of tied at 1-1. After the morning skate, Julien discussed the infamous letdown that hits teams in their first game back after a long road trip, and it appeared to plague the Bruins in the second period. Thankfully they recovered for the win.
Roster remains the same: There were no changes in the lineup Thursday as Julien kept his forward and defensive pairings the same. Here's what the lineup looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Chris Bourque-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid