Final: Boston 5, Ottawa 3
Recap: After falling behind 1-0 early in the first period, the Bruins responded with a power-play goal from Milan Lucic to knot things up. But Ottawa struck again just 16 ticks later as Stephane Da Costa beat Tim Thomas with a backhanded shot to make it 2-1.
In the second, Boston continued to hold a distinct advantage in shots and it finally paid off. Goals from Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly gave them a 3-2 lead heading into the final frame. The Sens rebounded, knotting things up with 5:04 gone in the third on a tally from Jared Cowen. But the B’s weren’t to be denied.
Boston got goals from Johnny Boychuk and Dan Paille just 37 seconds apart to go ahead 5-3. The score remained the same until the final horn, as the B’s three-game skid came to a halt.
Records: Boston 4-7-0, 8 points; Ottawa 7-6-0, 14 points
Key Play of the Game: The Bruins could have easily stayed in a defensive shell after Cowen knotted things up. Instead, they went on the attack and were rewarded for it with a pair of tallies — including Boychuk’s game-winner — in under a minute’s time.
Connolly’s Commendations: Tonight may have been the best game Zdeno Chara has played in 2011-12. Boston may have allowed three goals, but all of them were of the fluky variety and the captain wasn’t on the ice for any of them. Chara chipped in two assists, was plus-2, dished out a game-high four hits and played the way the B’s need him to going forward.
Rock-solid evening by the fourth line tonight. Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves to get his team going, Greg Campbell had an assist, a fight and won 8-of-16 faceoffs, and Dan Paille scored his second goal of the season.
Boston, in fact, got goals from all lines tonight and finally put their solid depth to good use. All in all, 13 players picked up at least a point in the victory.
Connolly’s Critiques: If we’re going to be critical, we might as well point to the short list of individuals who didn’t contribute on the score-sheet.
Nathan Horton seemed to miss half-a-dozen open-net chances in this one, while linemate David Krejci was mostly a non-factor with just one shot on goal. The two each finished the night with a minus-1 rating.
Joe Corvo, despite his long-term success against the Sens, was also held pointless.
Notes: Despite their surplus of career bouts, Shawn Thornton and Zenon Konopka had never dropped the gloves against one another until tonight. Bergeron’s goal extended his point streak to five games (3 goals, 2 assists).
Final Thoughts: All might not be right with the Black and Gold, but tonight’s win was sorely needed to stop the bleeding. Now with a victory over a team that came in red-hot, the Bruins hope they can continue righting the ship and get on a roll of their own.
Next: The B’s wont be back at it until Saturday night when they head to Toronto to take on the Leafs.