Anthony Duclair led the way once again, with two goals and an assist. Anders Nilsson was magnificent, stopping 38 of 40 shots, and the Sens handed Boston their second-straight loss, after the B’s had gone nearly a month without a regulation defeat.
The Senators opened the scoring just 1:35 in, when a gorgeous Dylan DeMelo stretch pass sent Artem Anisimov in alone on Tuukka Rask, and the veteran made no mistake to give Ottawa the lead.
That DeMelo homerun pass tho: pic.twitter.com/jePAJ6KTPY— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 10, 2019
Keeping the pressure on, they’d go up by two a little over 15 minutes later. Chris Tierney made a nice pass to Anthony Duclair, and The Duke of Goalsbury had his 14th of the year. 2-0 Sens.
4th goal in his last 3 games (and counting) for Duke.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 10, 2019
GOAL: Duclair (14)
ASSIST: Tierney (12) pic.twitter.com/qIeeSGw4DX
Not to be outdone, the returning Patrice Bergeron was set up beautifully by David Pastrnak, and had all day to make it 2-1 with 2:12 to go in the frame.
However, Ottawa would keep their foot on the gas. 1:21 into the second period, a great Senators forecheck, and a Rask miscue would find Chris Tierney with a wide-open net, and he buried his first goal in 22 games.
On the back of a great Anders Nilsson performance, and a stellar penalty kill, Ottawa would head into the third period up 3-1.
That's the paddle we're looking for, Anders Nilsson. pic.twitter.com/b7dyHaUc0o— NHL (@NHL) December 10, 2019
Both teams were held off the scoreboard until the game’s hectic last three minutes. J.G. Pageau would score a short-handed empty-netter at 17:02, but Jake Debrusk responded for Boston just 43 seconds later, cutting the lead back to two.
Nevertheless, the Sens stood their ground, and Duclair added another empty-netter with one second to play, and the Senators beat their Atlantic Division rival 5-2.
- I touched on this a little earlier, but Anders Nilsson was great this game. He needed a performance like this after struggling of late, and with Craig Anderson going down with a knee injury. Nilsson has shown flashes of greatness in his time with Ottawa, so if he can find some consistency in his game, it could turn out to be a great marriage between the two.
- Chris Tierney finally ended his dry spell, and my Twitter mentions were sure to let me know. Honestly, this guy is a complete enigma. Some nights he looks like a bonafide top-six forward, and other nights he’s completely invisible. If this is who he is as a player, move on while you can.
- Anthony Duclair has been the Senators’ best player through the last two weeks or so. With nine points through his last ten games, he’s the team’s driving force offensively right now. The decision to move him to Chris Tierney’s line proved a smart one, as they had six points between them. Being able to elevate his teammates is the mark of a really talented player.
- Logan Brown is firmly entrenched in the doghouse right now. He played only 7:08, and hasn’t gotten a sniff of the top-line minutes he was playing only a couple weeks ago. For my money, there has to be something else going on behind the scenes, but we’ll see if Brown can play his way into some more minutes going forward.
- Make no mistake, the Boston Bruins are VERY good, as will be evidenced in the following charts. This is a team that is very much the class of the league, and the one with the best chances of winning the Stanley Cup as it stands. Any time a young Ottawa team can turn in a winning performance against a team like that is great experience.
The Senators were in control until about the halfway point, when they got defensive, had to kill some penalties, and the Bruins put the pedal to the metal. Still, really encouraging to have control for that long.
As always, the Sens saw most of their chances from the mouth of the goal. By these metrics, they did a good job limiting Boston to the perimeter.
The Senators visit the Bell Centre on Wednesday night, to take on the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 PM EST.