In the Ottawa Senators’ final matchup of their five-game homestand, they faced off against the Boston Bruins, an Atlantic division foe that has started their season with a similar 4-2-2 record. Possessing one of, if not the best line in the league with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, the Bruins became too much to handle as the Sens surrendered four goals, with only one in response.
In an effort to try something new, I’ll be going through each of the goals scored this game, trying to identify who had the best and worst showings. Feedback is always appreciated, positive or negative.
The first period started off a bit bumpy for Ottawa, going down 7-0 in shots within the first five minutes. Another five minutes later, and the shots were seven apiece. The first goal, however, belonged to the Bruins.
Goal #1: Boston 1, Ottawa 0
David Pastrnak, from Danton Heinen and David Krejci
Heinen recovers the puck and feeds it to Pastrnak, who buries his 9th goal of the season.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 24, 2018
1-0 #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/8cluX7d13e
Who was responsible: While you would hope one of Dylan DeMelo or Thomas Chabot would’ve come to the middle sooner to cover Pastrnak, the key was the effective screen from David Krejci in front. Anderson looked completely stunned after the goal, as Krejci had gained some distance from DeMelo to screen Anderson without any disturbance. It would be the only goal of the first period.
Goal #2: Boston 1, Ottawa 1
Thomas Chabot, from Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone
Chabot UNLOADS from the point for his 3rd goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/nzCpEeXKxI— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 24, 2018
Who was responsible: With Zdeno Chara in the box for cross-checking, the Sens’ power play got to work. With Bobby Ryan having only two passing options, Matt Duchene down low and Chabot at the point, he opted for Chabot who was set up for the one-timer. Despite there being three players in his shooting lane, including Colin White, the puck found space past Tuukka Rask’s blocker to even the score.
Goal #3: Boston 2, Ottawa 1
David Krejci, from David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron
Who was responsible: With time ticking down in the second frame, two Senators found themselves in the box. Alex Formenton for holding, and Ryan Dzingel as a result of a too-many-men call. The 5-on-3 was short lived, however, as the Sens had barely enough time to set up before Boston struck. Anderson can be held mostly responsible for this goal, as he completely misread the play (or lost his footing at the wrong time) and left a wide open net for Krejci to shoot at. DeMelo’s back was turned to Krejci as well, so he didn’t cut off as much shooting lane as he could have. Being shorthanded during a 5-on-3 is a tough situation, and one quick mistake was all it took for Boston to regain their lead.
Goal #4: Boston 3, Ottawa 1
Patrice Bergeron, from David Pastrnak and Matt Grzelcyk
Bergeron tips a Pastrnak shot past Anderson. Bruins lead Ottawa, 3-1. pic.twitter.com/ICJxXIyVJy— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 24, 2018
Who was responsible: With the too-many-men penalty carrying over into the third period, Boston was able to get another goal on the power play. This one was a classic tip play. Boston got the puck to the middle point, sent everybody into the shooting lane (there were a total six players from both teams), and got the right tip from Bergeron so that Anderson couldn’t react. There wasn’t much else Ottawa could’ve done to prevent that.
Goal #5: Boston 4, Ottawa 1
David Pastrnak, from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak just pantsed the Senators.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/aJnRXeQIZ2— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 24, 2018
Who was responsible: The two-on-one began with Mark Borowiecki being caught up high, with Matt Duchene a bit behind in covering for him. After that, it was all Boston. Marchand, who got pummelled in a fight earlier in the game by Zack Smith, sought his revenge by undressing Dylan DeMelo with a curl-and-drag. Pastrnak was able to shake off Duchene to get himself open, leaving Anderson out in the open with no other support around. As much of a pest as Marchand can be, he’s also got excellent hands, which were on full display here.
And with that, the Bruins wrapped up their 4-1 victory, leaving Ottawa 3-2 in the course of their five-game homestand. Boston leads the season series 2-0.
- Mark Stone was everywhere on the ice for Ottawa. He led both teams with six shots on goal, and although he was only credited with two takeaways, he very likely had more. He led the team with a 64.71% Corsi percentage, and wouldn’t you believe it, his linemates were the next highest.
- Alex Formenton looked the same in his return as he did before his concussion, which is a good sign. His speed kills the opposition no matter who he’s facing, although his defensive IQ could still use some training. The Sens have four more games before they need to make a decision whether or not they’ll send him back to juniors, and at this point it still feels like it could go either way.
- The Bruins’ defencemen, who twice had to save Rask by sweeping the puck off the goal line. Ottawa pestered Boston’s goalie with 39 shots on goal; a couple more lucky bounces could’ve made this a completely different game.
- Borowiecki had a dangerous elbow on Urho Vaakanainen, which was left uncalled by the referees. For someone who just days ago made strong comments demanding the hammer to come down on dirty hits, it comes across a little hypocritical.
- Guy Boucher also had some questionable decisions, hard matching the fourth line (Pyatt, Paajarvi, Smith) and the third pair (Borowiecki, Jaros) against Boston’s top line. It went about as you’d expect, with the Bruins’ trio picking up a combined eight points.
Although the Sens climbed back in shots during the third period, a lot of that could be due to score effects (click 5v5 SVA).
Boston took shots from everywhere, with a few extra around the top of the right circle. Ottawa took a fair amount of shots from the left point.
Road trip! The Sens will attempt to conquer the Western Conference, with their next game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.