Thursday, March 21, 2013
Observations: Bruins 2, Senators 1
By James Murphy
Dennis Seidenberg scored the game winner with 1:04 left in regulation as the Boston Bruins snapped a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 win at Ottawa on Thursday night. Letting one fly from the blue line, Seidenberg somehow found a way through a crowd of players in front and beat Ottawa Senators goalie Robin Lehner (27 saves) to help the Bruins win a tightly contested match.
Khudobin gives B's a chance to win: After taking a loss he really didn't deserve when his team collapsed in front of him for a 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh on March 12, Khudobin has bounced back with two solid wins. He made 32 saves in the 4-1 win over the Capitals on Saturday and then gave his team a chance to win again Thursday. Ottawa had the pressure on early and late in the first period, but Khudobin made three huge stops to keep the game scoreless headed to the second period. Khudobin also had a brilliant save on Jakob Silfverberg late in the second period to keep the game tied at 1. He held down the fort with seven saves in the third and continues to prove he will be ready when Tuukka Rask needs a break.
Seidenberg finally lights the lamp at the perfect time: Seidenberg's game winner was his first goal in 30 games, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The gritty rearguard had seven helpers coming into the game but hadn't scored since April 21 in the Bruins' first-round playoff loss to the Capitals. When he scores clutch goals like this, the length between goals might be forgiven.
Daniel Paille's fifth goal of the season got the Bruins all square at 1-1, setting the stage for a comeback win in Ottawa.
Bruins need more of Paille's grit and hustle: The vote here for the Bruins' unsung hero award so far this season would have to be Paille. The versatile winger has proven to be more than just a brilliant penalty killer and speedy defensive forward. Paille accentuates that speed with grit and hustle, and if he had a bit more finishing skill, he might be a 20-goal scorer. But make no mistake, his snipe to tie the game at 1-1 18:38 into the second period was reminiscent of a goal scorer's goal.
Krejci battles through but can't get his linemates going:David Krejci returned from a knee injury earlier than expected and didn't quite look like he was fully healed from the Johnny Boychuk shot he took to the knee in Pittsburgh on Sunday, which kept him out of the lineup in the 3-1 loss at Winnipeg on Tuesday. Krejci almost had the go-ahead goal late in the third period before Seidenberg's winner but was robbed by Lehner. Krejci also made some nice passes and did his best to create for Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, but the wingers couldn't convert.
Peverley scratched; Johnson in for McQuaid: With Krejci returning to the lineup, the thought was that rookie Ryan Spooner would be a healthy scratch, but it was veteran Rich Peverley who sat up top in the press box Thursday in a surprise move by coach Claude Julien. Peverley has struggled this season with just four goals and five assists in 28 games. It could just be a wake-up call from Julien, but with the trade deadline less than three weeks away and rumors persisting that Peverley is being shopped, this is a situation to watch going forward.
Also in the lineup for the first time since March 14 and for only his fifth game this season was defenseman Aaron Johnson, who replaced Adam McQuaid, who's out for the three to four weeks with a shoulder injury. Here's what the lineup looked like: