For the second time in two nights, the Senators found themselves in a goaltending duel that ended 2-1. This time, however, they ended up on the wrong side of that score. Linus Ullmark made 39 saves to stonewall the Sens, showing against why the Bruins’ netminder has been quite possibly the best goalie on the planet this year. Søgaard for his part looked solid, making 33 saves in a losing effort.
Dylan Gambrell broke a 50-game goal drought to open the scoring in the first period. It came after the Sens had come out flying against the Bruins, using an early powerplay to jump out to an 8-1 lead in shots.
The Bruins answered back though, first from 80-year-old David Krejci (actually only 36) on a well-executed 5-on-3, and then Jake DeBrusk on a slick forehand-backhand deke around Mads Søgaard. Amazingly, that did it for the scoring.
Søgaard’s play was especially notable as the game wore on. In the second period, the Sens’ tiredness on the second half of a back-to-back was evident: the shots were 21-15 for Ottawa in the period, but the Bruins had six high-danger chances to the Sens’ three. In the third, the Sens could only muster four shots to the Bruins’ nine. The Great Dane went toe-to-toe with the presumptive Vezina winner at the other end, not letting anything through the final two frames. It wasn’t enough though, as the Bruins pulled out the 2-1 victory.
- What I really like about the Chabot-Brännström pairing is that both players can make long passes, both players can skate it out, and both guys can get open to be the guy to hit with the pass in stride. It makes a strong argument for having two puck-moving defencemen on the same pair. I really want to see Chabot, Sanderson, and Chychrun all in this team’s top four next year.
- Søgaard looked poised and confident tonight. Confidence seems to be a big part of goaltending, and he had it back. I also think he was probably just tired on the road trip. Giving him even a couple days off seemed to have helped him settle into his role this game.
- Tim Stützle was covered hard tonight. To be fair, the Bruins played the Bergeron-Marchand-Coyle line against him, arguably the best defensive forward group in the NHL. It just looked like he could never get the space he usually gets to set up for his wicked shots. Still, it’s impressive for our young German that the Bruins made a game plan to contain him specifically./