December 14, 2011

Post-Game Breakdown: Paille pots two, Thomas stands on head in win over Sens

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 5, Ottawa 2

Recap: During a sloppy first period in which Tim Thomas was under siege, Rich Peverley got the Bruins going with a goal for the second-straight game, tallying at the 12:10 mark to put Boston up 1-0. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson knotted things up early in the second, but Boston responded midway through the frame when Chris Kelly beat Craig Anderson to make it 2-1.

Patrice Bergeron pushed the lead to two at the 4:54 mark, then Dan Paille made it 4-1 when he beat Craig Anderson on a breakaway just 56 seconds later. Jason Spezza cut the lead to two with 4:05 remaining, but Paille’s second of the night closed out the scoring with 1:04 left in the contest, cementing Boston’s third-straight victory.

Records: Boston 20-9-1, 41 points; Ottawa 14-14-4, 32 points

Key Play of the Game: Bergeron’s tally in the third, which turned out to be the game-winner, was a huge back-breaker for the Sens. The reliable center was the recipient of a gift-wrapped turnover, came in alone and faked out Anderson to give the Bruins a two-goal cushion.

Connolly’s Commendations: What a night for Paille. The speedy winger struck twice in Boston’s victory, had four shots on goal and logged 2:14 of shorthanded time to help keep the Sens from doing any damage on the power play (0-for-5).

Tim Thomas was tremendous in the final frame, stopped 21-of-22 to blank the pressing Sens, but his work early in the contest was equally as vital. Ottawa was all over Boston early on, but the veteran netminder worked his usual magic and bounced back from a so-so outing against Columbus to keep things scoreless.

Johnny Boychuk, for the second-straight night, was extremely solid with Zdeno Chara out of action. No. 55 was plus-2 and had a game-high four blocked shots.

Andrew Ference had just as big of an impact on Boston’s blueline. He had two assists, was plus-3 and logged a whopping 27:33 of ice time, more than any other player.

Connolly’s Critiques: Milan Lucic got in a spirited bout with Matt Carkner that definitely helped wake up his teammates, but overall it was a quiet night for his line. Lucic, Nathan Horton and David Krejci each finished minus-1 and had one shot apiece.

Notes: Adam McQuaid was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for kneeing Nick Foligno during the second period. Foligno was banged up on the play but quickly returned to the ice. Chris Kelly is now just three goals shy of his career-high of 15, which he set in 2009-10 with Ottawa.

Final Thoughts: The Senators could’ve easily gotten on the board early and turned the tide if it weren’t for a phenomenal performance by Thomas in the early-going. Once the Black and Gold woke up and began putting pucks past Anderson, Ottawa looked defeated. Boston is now tied with the Flyers for the most post in the East.

Next: Speaking of Philadelphia, that’s where the B’s will be their next time out. They’ll take on the Flyers on Saturday afternoon in a matinee.