Final: Ottawa 4, Boston 2
Recap: Everything was sunshine and rainbows for the Bruins in the first 19 minutes of action Monday night. Loui Eriksson redirected a shot by Matt Bartkowski past Craig Anderson 6:03 in. Brad Marchand doubled the lead with 9:50 gone.
Anderson and the Sens seemed to be on the ropes, but a turnover by Torey Krug in the closing minute led to a Chris Neil goal that cut the lead in half and swung momentum the home team's way.
After a scoreless second period, Erik Karlsson set up Jason Spezza for the tying tally 92 seconds into the third. A Jared Cowen slapper put Ottawa ahead 4:10 later, and Bobby Ryan's 10th tally of the season put this one out of reach with 9:49 to go in regulation.
Records: Boston 12-6-1, 25 points; Ottawa 8-7-4, 20 points
Key Play of the Game: After Ryan scored, you could turn out the lights and send everyone home because this game was over. The former Duck picked Reilly Smith's pocket in textbook fashion near the B's defensive blue and simply fired a shot through Tuukka Rask's wickets.
Connolly's Commendations: Though he had what was initially declared his first career regular-season goal given to Eriksson, Bartkowski notched two assists and was solid in 18-plus minutes of ice time.
Boston's second line was the team's best forward unit in this one, as Eriksson, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron combined for four points on the night (2g, 2a), seven shots and were each plus-2.
Connolly's Critiques: It was a rare rough night for Krug, who finished minus-2 after seeming to transition seamlessly to playing on the right side with Dennis Seidenberg, who also had a rough night at the office. The German rearguard's night was capped off by accidentally catching Ryan in the jaw with an elbow with around three minutes left in the contest. No penalty was called on the play.
The third line (Smith, Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly) was collectively minus-6. Smith's giveaway epitomized how things went for the group, thoughSoderberg's six shots on goal were a bit of a silver lining.
Notes: Tonight was game No. 600 in Seidenberg's NHL career. ... Rask allowed four goal in regulation on the road for the first time since a 4-2 loss in Winnipeg on Feb. 17, 2012. ... Eriksson extended his point streak to five games (2g, 4a).
Final Thoughts: The Bruins looked like a tired team in the second half of this one, having played the night prior at home against Columbus, but their execution was so woeful that no amount of fatigue could fully excuse their poor play throughout the third period.
Next: The Bruins will head down to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes Monday night.