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Bobby Ryan Lifts Senators Past Bruins Again

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A recap of the game between the Senators and Bruins.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time this season, the Senators faced the Bruins on a Saturday afternoon in Boston. The Sens struggled last year in afternoon games, and have struggled for what seems like forever against the Bruins. Ottawa won in the shootout the first time they met, which either boded well for the team, or meant they’d already used up their luck.

The first period wasn’t very eventful, but the important thing was that the period ended tied 0-0. Ottawa was also holding their own, only being outshot 9-7 by Boston.

The second period featured the Sens failing to score on 1:40 of 5-on-3 powerplay. Thankfully, some solid forechecking by Clarke MacArthur shortly after led to the first goal of the game. Kyle Turris was the beneficiary, potting his eighth of the season, giving the Sens a short-lived lead. Torey Krug would knot things up on a Bruins’ powerplay before the period ended.

The third period started off with some hard work by Mike Hoffman giving the Sens a solid chance, but Mika Zibanejad flubbed the rebound with a pretty wide-open net. Some extended time in the Sens’ zone allowed the Bruins to set up a cycle. Brad Marchand failed to score after receiving a beautiful cross-seam pass, but he retrieved the rebound, skated to the high slot and put it home. The Sens would catch a break on Patrice Bergeron taking an ill-advised hooking penalty against Patrick Wiercioch, which was compounded by Adam McQuaid taking a puck-over-the-glass penalty. With 40 seconds of 5-on-3, again the Sens were unable to capitalize.

Eric Gryba would take a slapshot from the point that was going way wide, but Hoffman directed it out of midair with his skate, past Tuukka Rask and into the net. Milan Michalek would take a late tripping penalty, but some great work by Erik Condra allowed the Sens to escape to overtime.

Overtime opened with the Bruins playing three forwards and a Zdeno Chara (whatever he is at this point in his career) and the Sens made them pay. Erik Karlsson mishandled a shot from the slot, but recovered the puck and got it to Bobby Ryan. Ryan flipped the puck high to Karlsson who had crept to the front of the net, who instead of snapping a bouncing puck on goal, shovelled it back to Ryan. Rask was over-committed to Karlsson, giving Ryan an open net to put the puck into. Ryan kicked the puck up to his stick and slid home the game-winning goal. Ian Mendes summed it up best:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>That was a sweet - but awkward - give and go by Ryan &amp; Karlsson for the OT winner.</p>&mdash; Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) <a href="https://twitter.com/ian_mendes/status/551476883112882176">January 3, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Sens Hero: Mike Hoffman

His speed was dangerous, and though his goal was fluky, he made the team better tonight nearly every time he was on the ice.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Players with more even strength goals than Hoffman this season: Seguin, Tarasenko, Nash, Kucherov, Stamkos, Kane, Pacioretty.&#10;&#10;That&#39;s all.</p>&mdash; Adnan (@sens_adnan) <a href="https://twitter.com/sens_adnan/status/551474130973777920">January 3, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Sens Hero: Bobby Ryan

He must relish these afternoon games against Boston. After getting the shootout winner last time, this time he won it about five minutes sooner.

Sens Zeroes: Cody Ceci and Jared Cowen

I hate to continue the heaping on these two, but they don’t look like second-pairing defencemen. They’re overmatched almost every game.

Sens Absolute Zero: The powerplay

They went 0-for-5 this game. They have now gone five straight games without a powerplay goal. Specifically tonight, the team had 2:23 of 5-on-3 powerplay. The fact that they failed to score and that the powerplay looked sloppy for long stretches speaks volumes as to this team’s struggles. I’m not sure what needs to change, but I hope Dave Cameron and co. figure it out.

Bruins Zero: Zdeno Chara

He looks old, slow, and ineffective. His return from injury hasn’t been everything it was expected to be. Several times tonight, Ottawa’s speed exposed him.

Interesting tidbit: Erik Karlsson had no shots on goal tonight. The last time he had no shots on goal was against Nashville on January 11th (72 games ago). He could’ve broken that in overtime, but instead elected to set up Ryan for the game winner. I think it was worth it.

Game Flow:

B_T nut:

Highlights:

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