Friday, February 18, 2011
Rapid reaction: Bruins 4, Sens 2
By James Murphy
OTTAWA -- Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly made their Boston Bruins debuts Friday night, but it was Brad Marchand with two goals, Andrew Ference and David Krejci with two helpers each, Nathan Horton with a goal and an assist and Tuukka Rask earning his second straight win with 32 saves who were the story in a 4-2 victory against the Ottawa Senators. Dennis Seidenberg also added a power-play goal.
Bobby Butler and Alexei Kovalev scored for the Senators, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Bruins, who have now won two straight after losing three in a row.
Kaberle, Kelly make their Bruins debuts -- Newly acquired defenseman Tomas Kaberle and forward Chris Kelly made their debuts as Bruins on Friday night. Kaberle was paired with Dennis Seidenberg on defense and then with Zdeno Chara on the power play. He finished with no points and was a minus-1 in 19:44 on ice. Kelly, centering a line with Michael Ryder and Tyler Seguin, was playing his first game as a Bruin against the team that traded him to Boston, and the home-team Senators paid tribute to their former player by playing a video on the jumbotron when he came on for his first shift. Kelly finished the game with zero points in 15:09 on ice.
Here’s what the forward lines and defensive pairings looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Michael Ryder-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Steven Kampfer
Tomas Kaberle-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Marchand continues to deliver -- Rookie winger Brad Marchand had his first bad game in a while last Sunday, making an errant pass that led to a Detroit goal in a 4-2 Bruins loss. But he has rebounded nicely in the past three games. He had an assist in the 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night and was a plus-1 in the 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. On Friday night, he scored two goals against the Senators to bring his goal total to 18 and now has four points in his past four games.
Rask makes his second straight start -- A week ago, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was chased from the game after the second period after allowing five goals on 19 shots in a 6-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. But Rask turned around with a 34-save performance in a 6-3 win over the Islanders on Thursday night, and Bruinscoach Claude Julien, who said recently he would try to filter in more starts for the Finnish netminder to rest Tim Thomas, decided to give Rask the nod on Friday night. Rask looked solid, making 32 saves, including a huge save on Nick Foligno with just under 13 minutes left in regulation and then controlling a flurry of shots in front in the final 35 seconds. This was a good decision by Julien, as the team now has a three-game trip out west against some difficult foes, such as Calgary and Vancouver.
Horton snipes one -- Nathan Horton appeared to be headed on another pointless streak since his five-point outburst Feb. 8 in an 8-6 win over Montreal. But on Friday, he made sure that wasn’t going to happen, sniping a goal 9:47 into the final frame to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead at the time and then assisting on a Dennis Seidenberg power-play goal later in the period. Horton now has 15 goals on the season, and if he can get hot, it would really help the Bruins down the stretch.
Power-play goal streak continues -- The Bruins much-maligned power play now has a goal in each of the past six games. Dennis Seidenberg scored a power-play goal to make it 3-1 at 15:20 of the third period. Kaberle, who is a power-play specialist didn’t have any points on the man-advantage and looked a bit hesitant, but overall, the Bruins power play had great puck movement and finished 1-for-5.
Ference and Krejci helping out -- Andrew Ference had two helpers and now has three assists in his past three games after going six games without a point. Ference was really moving the puck around nicely out there Friday night and controlled it with poise. The Bruins will need more offense from the steady blueliner down the stretch. Meanwhile, David Krejci also chipped in with two assists and now has four points in his past two games. If Krejci can start to show that playmaking skill of his more often, the first line of him, Horton and Lucic could be a real threat down the stretch.