Final: Boston 3, Ottawa 2
Recap: After giving up a goal to winger Colin Greening and spotting the Sens a 1-0 lead 2:48 into the contest. The B's took less than two minnutes to grab a lead of their own.
A Zdeno Chara blast from the point ricocheted off David Krejci's chest out in front and past Robin Lehner to knot things up. Then, Brad Marchand set up Tyler Seguin for his 12th goal of the season.
At the 1:55 mark of the third period, instant replay showed Andre Benoit put the puck over the B's goal line with Anton Khudobin scrambling, tying the game at two apiece. With 9:39 to go, Nathan Horton extended his goal-scoring streak to four games, potting a rebound off an initial shot from linemate Milan Lucic. Horton's strike proved to be the game-winner.
Records: Boston 23-8-4, 50 points; Ottawa 19-11-6, 44 points
Key Play of the Game: Seguin's goal to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead was just a perfect example of the chemisty he and his linemates have. Nos. 19 and 63 executed the 2-on-1 to perfection. The same couldn't be said for any of the odd-man rushes Boston's other lines had on the night.
Connolly's Commendations: Don't look now, but Anton Khudobin -- who made a career-high 45 saves in this one -- could be genuinely wrestling some playing time away from annointed No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask. He earned his second straight win. Over the last two games, he's stopped 71 of the 73 shots he's faced.
Krejci and Horton kept their hot streaks alive, with the former notching a goal and an assist, and the latter upping his goal total to an even dozen on the season. Lucic had two helpers.
Connolly's Critiques: Rough first half of the game for Andrew Ference. No. 21 struggled on two early shifts alongside Dennis Seidenberg, the second of which saw them on the ice for Greening's goal. Ference also spent two minutes in the box for covering the puck in the defensive zone 8:50 into the game.
Notes: Patrice Bergeron left the game in the second period, heading down the tunnel and never returning. Rather than speculate what his ailment/injury is, we'll force-feed you coach Claude Julien's go-to line in these situations: No word yet, check back tomorrow. Boston improved to 4-0-0 on the year against the Sens. The two teams combined for 97 shots, with Boston hitting the 50-mark for the first time since March 25, 2010 against Tampa.
Final Thoughts: For a team that's managed to stay in the hunt thanks largely to strong team defense, the Senators sure do give up a lot of shots. It's no wonder Robin Lehner came into the contest (and left it, for that matter) with a save percentage north of .940. Boston needed nearly every one of those 50 shots to get the two points.
Next: The Bruins will be armed with newcomer Jaromir Jagr when they host the Devils Thursday night.