April 29, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: B's close out season on sour note

By Jesse Connolly

Daniel Alfredsson (11) and the Senators celebrate a goal during Sunday's game at TD Garden. (Getty Images)

Final: Ottawa 4, Boston 2

Recap: With 16:59 gone in the second period, Erik Condra's first goal since Feb. 23 put the Senators up 1-0. They pushed that lead to two when Jared Cowen beat Tuukka Rask with 10:33 gone in the middle frame.

With under a minute to go in the second period and the Bruins on the power play, Wade Redden did a nice job of carrying the puck along the far boards and taking a hit to make a play. His pass landed on the stick of Rich Peverley, who fired a shot past Robin Lehner to cut Ottawa's lead in half.

In the third, Milan Lucic was up near the blue line and sent a pass over to Dennis Seidenberg. The German d-man ripped a shot through traffic that tied things up. But Ottawa regained the lead when rookie Jean-Gabriel Pageau banged home a loose puck out in front to make it 3-2. Kyle Turris closed out the scoring with an empty-netter with 37 seconds left.

Records: The Bruins finished fourth in the East; The Senators finished seventh

Key Play of the Game: When the final horn sounded and the Bruins realized that, should they be lucky enough to make it out of the first round, they might have to face Pittsburgh in the conference semifinals thanks to their inability to lock up the Northeast Division/No. 2 seed in the East. If they felt discouraged, disappointed, angry with they've played over the last two months, even, then that was the key play of the game.

Connolly's Commendations: Milan Lucic is getting his act together at the right time. He had another fight (versus Chris Neil this time) and chipped in an assist. Points and pugilism seem to go hand in hand. Too bad he realized this 46 games in the season.

(Ouch, a backhanded compliment in the commendations section.)

The Bruins two best players tonight were Dennis Seidenberg (one goal, one assist) and Kaspars Daugavins, who, my lord, is one energetic guy with more smarts and talent than he gets credit for, and who I'd like to see some more of come playoff time.

Connolly's Critiques, Notes, Final Thoughts: Usually (duh) this'd get split up into three sections, but for the sake of not being repetitive, I'll wrap it up in one.

The Boston Bruins finished out the season on a 2-5-2 run. That's six points out of a possible 18. The Canadiens, meanwhile, took a complete nose dive yet still managed to eek out the top spot in the division, beating the B's by a single point. Think there wasn't a point in the standings over the past few weeks the Bruins could've worked harder to nail down? There were plenty.

Instead, they'll now head to the postseason knowing that the only two games they've won in the last 19 days came against the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. If you just shook your Magic 8 Ball, odds are you got an "outlook not so good" if you asked about the Bruins' hopes of going on a lengthy playoff run.

Next: The Bruins will open the 2013 postseason at home against Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday at the Garden. Stay tuned for plenty more on Toronto in the coming days.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com