Luck On Their Seid: Bruins Steal One From Sens With Late Goal
Big win. Bigger goals. The Senators outplayed the Bruins for much of the game, but it was a gift goal to tie it and a seeing-eye shot from the point that led to a 2-1, come-from-behind win for the B’s. Both goals came in the final minute of the second and third periods, respectively and Boston extended its winning streak in the capital of Canada to 11 games.
With 21-year-old, Robin Lehner, playing well and the top-two lines for Boston unable to capitalize on chances, it was Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg who found the back of the net and helped the Bruins pick up the much-needed two points and snap their three-game road losing streak. The Bruins are now 3-0 against the Senators this season and have won four straight against them overall as they found a way to come away with the 2-1 win on a night that they weren’t at their best due, in large part, to some very timely saves from Anton Khudobin.
With just over a minute remaining in the game and the score tied at one, Patrice Bergeron won one of his 19 faceoffs on the night and Zdeno Chara raced to control the puck at the blue line. He then slid a short pass to Seidenberg, who was backing up toward the wall not leaving much room between him and Chara. He one-timed the pass and it took a clear path to the back of the net to put the Bruins on top, 2-1, with 1:04 remaining in the game. The goal was Seidenberg’s first since April 1 and improved the team to 20-6-3 on the year. The team had had opportunities all night long, but took advantage of an offensive zone faceoff from one of the best centers in the league when they needed it most.
“The only thing I guess we can take out of this is the two points,” said Seidenberg, who was not overly impressed with his team’s effort on the night. “It was one minute to go, so Zee just laid it over. My only option was to get it on net and it was the game-winner. We tried hard and it’s two points. That’s all that counts,” he would add.
Khudobin made 27 saves on the night, including a handful of tough and timely ones as the Senators applied pressure all game long. With Ottawa making pushes at the end of both the first and second periods, Khudobin held strong and turned away shots from Jakob Silfverberg among others to keep Boston in the game.
“I don’t think we’re playing our best hockey right now, but what I liked about tonight is we fought through it,” said Claude Julien. “We found a way to win and that’s important.” He added that they got another strong effort from Khudobin in the backup role.
The game began with a couple of scoring chances between the two teams with a Milan Lucic shot saved by Lehner and Khudobin flashing the leg to make a save on Colin Greening within the first two minutes of play. The netminders were strong throughout the remainder of the first, making the saves they should have and weren’t really tested too much for the rest of the penalty-free stanza. It was most exciting in the final 30 seconds as Ottawa applied the most pressure of the period and provided the greatest excitement of the first with a flurry in the Boston end. Khudobin made three or four saves, however, and got the Bruins to the room with a scoreless tie after trailing the Sens, 10-9, in shots.
Ottawa got the scoring started five minutes into the second period as they capitalized on a poorly timed Bruins’ line change. Just after an icing, the tired Bruins skaters dumped the puck in and headed to the bench, but Ottawa re-entered the zone quickly and Kaspars Daugavins beat Khudobin high to his glove side for his first of the season. Mika Zibanejad went right through the tired Tyler Seguin in the neutral zone and fed it to Daugavins on the wall. His wrist shot found twine just inside the left post to give the Senators the 1-0 lead.
Zibanejad and Sergei Gonchar got the assists on the goal and Gonchar extended his franchise-record point streak to nine games. Khudobin couldn’t get the glove up quickly enough and was not happy with the goal. Gonchar’s streak is the longest active in the league.
Ottawa would keep the pressure on following the goal, but Khudobin made some more saves and the Sens were not able to extend their lead. With just under two minutes remaining in the second, the Bruins evened things up as Paille picked the short corner for his sixth of the year. Looking up to find himself on a two-on-one with Seguin, Paille faked the pass and got Lehner off his line just enough to be able to sneak it under his arm.
It was a huge goal at that point of the game as it gave the Bruins some life heading into the second intermission. Johnny Boychuk got the play started as he won the puck at the defensive blue line (luckily, he controlled it after trying to kick it for some reason) and led Paille into the offensive zone with a near-perfect pass instead of dumping it in and having Paille chase. Gregory Campbell picked up the secondary assist on the big goal for his fifth of the year.
“We had a good [play] there by Soup and Johnny had a good heads up [to] notice me,” said Paille. “I thouhgt about passing, but we hadn’t had too many shots that period,” so he buried it to tie the game.
That would be all on the scoring until the Seidenberg game-winner as both goalies did their best to keep the game knotted at one. The desperation came to a boil in the back half of the third as Lucic and Shawn Thornton were each unhappy with some of the boys in red. Nothing really materialized, but the B’s appeared to come out of that stretch with the momentum.
After being unable to get hardly anything going on a third-period power play, the top line began pouring on some pressure late in the period, forcing Lehner to make some more big saves. Lucic had some chances and Lehner denied David Krejci, who decided he could go just before the game, but was still hobbling around, to keep the game tied for the moment.
Finally taking advantage of an opportunity, Seidenberg buried the go-ahead goal off of a perfect setup from Bergeron and Chara. The bodies in front of Lehner made it nearly impossible for him to see and he fell to 1-2-2 in his career against the Bruins. Though the Senators had nearly twice as many chances, the Bruins found a way to win and a lot of it had to do with the Merlot line.
Campbell, Paille and Thornton were used a lot more than the makeshift third line of Jay Pandolfo, Ryan Spooner and Jordan Caron as Rich Peverley sat out as a healthy scratch. “They deserve it. They did a great job.” said Julien of their play. “They get it. They know what their line is all about…really happy with all their performances.” The fourth line actually played 23:35 more than the third did on the night.
Their were only two power plays in the game – both for the Bruins – as the top two penalty killing teams in the league were disciplined and the officials called a loose game.
It was just the second home loss of the season for the Senators as they fell to 10-2-3 at Scotiabank Place. They had won three straight coming in and were 9-1-2 when scoring first in a game this season before the loss Thursday night.
Khudobin improved to 6-2 on the year and Boston improved to 12-1 in their last 13 games against the Sens. The B’s also improved to 6-0 this season when Paille scores a goal.
The three stars of the game were Bergeron, Khudobin and Lehner.
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