April 5, 2012

Khudobin dynamite in debut, leads B's to 3-1 win over Sens

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 3, Ottawa 1

Recap: With 10:36 gone in the opening frame, Benoit Pouliot tipped in a nice feed from Brian Rolston to put the B’s on the board first. Ottawa controlled play in the period, however, outshooting the Bruins 17-7.

In the second, Greg Zanon sent a shot through traffic and found twine, picking up his first goal as a Bruin. Jason Spezza’s 34th of the year cut the Senators’ deficit in half with 6:04 to go in the middle frame.

In the third, Milan Lucic iced it with 4:33 remaining, putting the Bruins up 3-1.

Records: Boston 48-29-4, 100 points; Ottawa 41-30-10, 92 points

Key Play of the Game: In the third, with his team trailing 2-1, Erik Karlsson was staring at an open net. His attempt to tie the game missed by a country mile.

Connolly’s Commendations: In a game that meant nothing to the Bruins – if you’re not counting the effect the game had on potential playoff matchups – Anton Khudobin had to be superb in order for Boston to come out of Ottawa victorious. He was simply outstanding. The Kazakhstan-born netminder stopped 44-of-45 on the night to backstop the B’s to a win.

Good grief. Was Zanon a busy man tonight or what? Ottawa managed to put 45 shots on goal, but the former Wild blueliner blocked ten of their attempts. Ten! You don’t see that too often.

Zanon and Joe Corvo finished the night with a game-high plus-3 rating.

Connolly’s Critiques: We could probably nitpick here and point out a few quiet nights, but it’s hard to lay blame on players who didn’t go all out with nada on the line.

Notes: Boston hit 100 points for the third time in four seasons. Adam McQuaid left early in the second period and did not return.

Final Thoughts: The Bruins could’ve easily taken their foot off the gas and made sure Ottawa got a point to ensure that the two teams will meet in the first round. Why they didn’t do so – against a club they won 5-of-6 against this season – seems somewhat puzzling.

Next: Boston will close out the regular season on Saturday when the recently-eliminated Sabres come to TD Garden for a 4 o’clock matchup.