A #TeamTank supporter’s wildest dream. That’s what this game was.
The Ottawa Senators threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Boston Bruins in tonight’s game, but due to stellar goaltending from Tuukka Rask, a lack of execution from the Sens’ forwards, along with some old-fashioned dumb luck, they were edged out by a 2-1 score.
The Senators, determined to take down the class of the Eastern Conference, came out flying in the 1st, I couldn’t identify a single Sens forward that didn’t force a turnover or contribute to a good scoring chance. All four lines contributed, and as a result, Ottawa ended the 1st period ahead in shots 9-3. If you think that’s impressive, the 5v5 shot attempts were 29-5 in the period. Alas, the game remained scoreless in the 1st, and we all know what the Bruins are capable of.
With that in mind, the Senators pushed even harder in the 2nd frame to get a puck past Rask. Filip Chlapik made a nice attempt on the backhand after a beautiful takeaway but Rask stopped it, along with 14 others. The Bruins had a lot more possession in the 2nd period than in the 1st, but Ottawa held up defensively. Shots after the 2nd period were 24-10. The Senators were firing on all cylinders but weren’t able to get too many clean shots in tight against Rask, it seemed like they only needed one to take the lead going into the 3rd period...and 41 seconds into the 3rd, this happened:
The best part of that goal was the reception of the Tierney pass between the legs, a highly skilled play to keep control of the puck. At last, it was 1-0 Ottawa and they were taking it to the Bruins like it was nobody’s business. This was shaping up to be the best performance of the season for the Senators, considering the opponent. So what if Patrice Bergeron was injured? That the Bruins were on the 2nd half of a back-to-back? This level of dominance is commendable.
And then Marchand scored.
And then Chara scored.
Just like that, the Sens had given up the lead they worked so hard to gain. With over half the period to go, they had many more solid attempts on Rask, pulling the goalie with under 2:00 left in the game and doing everything in their power to score the tying goal. It was not meant to be, as the game ended in favour of the Bruins, with a final score of 2-1. Shots were 34-21 in favour of Ottawa. Anders Nilsson made 19 saves in the losing effort. Like I said before, a tanker’s dream.
- In the 1st period, Ottawa went for high-danger shots but sent many of them wide. In the 2nd, they got many more on net but from low-danger areas. Chabot struck the perfect balance in the 3rd before the Bruins came alive. If Erik Karlsson was still here, we’d have the perfect cast for “Goldilocks and the Three Bruins”.
- The Power-play continues to let the team down in the 2019-20 season. Despite some decent looks, Ottawa went 0-for-2 today. Their PK continued to be phenomenal, going 2-for-2.
- It’s hard to highlight a single player tonight, I don’t think I can name a single one that didn’t contribute to a high-danger chance, or force a turnover. Logan Brown, Nick Paul, Chris Tierney, Filip Chlapik and their line mates all stood out at times.
- With this loss, my streak of recapping Sens victories has ended at 4. Still, against the Boston Bruins? I’ll take a performance like this one any day.
- Dylan DeMelo was solid in his own end once again, and is a no-brainer to re-sign. He flies under the radar playing very sound defence, and with only 2 points on the year so far, contract negotiations should be a piece of cake. Mark Borowiecki also looked solid at both ends of the ice, and is also making a strong case to be re-signed.
Ottawa dominated in the 1st before Boston began to push back in the 2nd and 3rd.
Both teams had the bulk of their shots from around the net and point (left for Boston, both for Ottawa).
- The Sens hit the road for a Friday game (Nov. 29) against the Minnesota Wild at 4:00 PM EST.