By: Jeremy Perrigo
The Stanley Cup playoffs began Wednesday night and the Bruins faced off against the Ottawa Senators for game 1 in Ottawa, a team they had not beaten in four regular season matchups. The first period was a lot of back and forth hockey; Ottawa had three penalties during the first and Boston, while creating traffic and opportunities in front of the net, failed to capitalize on any of them. In the period the Bruins had 14 shots on net to the Senators 9, but the score remained 0-0 after 1.
The Bruins came out in the second with 1:10 of power play time due to a Jean-Gabriel Pageau delay-of-game penalty in the final minute of the first. The Bruins failed to record a shot on net during the remainder of the power play. For much of the second period Ottawa dominated the play and dictated the pace of the game. This play resulted in a Bobby Ryan goal 10:28 into the period to put the Sens up 1-0. Not only did the Bruins not score in the remainder of the period, the failed to render a single shot on goal. The second ended with a score of 1-0 and 12 shots on goal for Ottawa and zero for the Bruins. This stat prompted someone on the Ottawa Senators official twitter to tweet this at the end of the second:
This tweet would have probably wouldn’t have caused such a firestorm of criticism if the Senators had gone on to win the game. However, the Bruins came out in the third looking very different than the team that hit the ice for the second period. Frank Vatrano tied the score at 1-1 4:55 into the period and the pace of the Bruins game noticeably picked up.
Not to be forgotten in this game is Tuukka Rask who came up with a few huge saves for the Bruins throughout the game, stopping 26 of 27 Ottawa shots. That includes this breakaway opportunity from Senator’s center Derick Brassard in the first period:
With 2:33 remaining in the 3rd period Brad Marchand knocked in a juicy rebound from a Patrice Bergeron shot attempt to put the Bruins up 2-1 in the dying minutes of the period. That would be all it would take as the Bruins outshot the Senators 11-6 in the final 20 minutes to roll to a game 1 victory taking a win from the Senators in their own building.
Game 2 will be on Saturday, April 15 at 3pm EST in Ottawa. If the Bruins can take a second win from the Senators in their own building they will have the ability to come back to Boston with a strong grip on the series.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t have much to say when asked Thursday morning about David Krejci and Collin Miller. David Krejci, after skating in warm-ups was a late scratch in game 1. Collin Miller went down in the second period after a collision with Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Borowiecki was assessed a 2-minute tripping penalty on the play.
Cassidy also said that forward Noel Acciari is day-to-day and could potentially play in game 2 Saturday. In his first career NHL game Charlie McAvoy played an impressive 24:11 on the back-end for the Bruins. He made solid passes and contributed to clean break-outs for the B’s. Expect to see more of McAvoy in this series with the Bruins’ defensive core going through the injury bug at the worst time of year.
Photo: (The Score)