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Pastrnak caps overtime victory on the road in Ottawa

David Pastrnak scored the game-winning overtime goal about midway through the extra frame to lift the Boston Bruins over the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, Saturday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

Jeremy Swayman (10-7-3, 2.14 goals-against average, .923 save percentage in 21 games played) stopped 29 saves on 31 shots faced in the win for Boston as he improved to 3-0-0 against Ottawa in his career (and the Bruins improved to 3-0-0 against the Sens this season as well).

Senators goaltender, Anton Forsberg (10-8-2, 2.78 goals-against average, .916 save percentage in 23 games played), made 30 saves on 33 shots against in the overtime loss.

The B’s improved to 28-17-4 (60 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division, while also in command of the second wild card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Ottawa fell to 18-25-5 (41 points) on the season and stuck in 6th place in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Brad Marchand (suspension) against the Senators, while Bruce Cassidy made a few changes to his lineup from Thursday’s, 4-1, loss on the road against the New York Islanders to Saturday night in Ottawa.

Jack Studnicka centered the third line with Erik Haula at left wing and Nick Foligno at right wing, while Jake DeBrusk was relegated to the fourth line left wing and Anton Blidh joined Derek Forbort in the press box as a pair of healthy scratches against the Senators.

Urho Vaakanainen was paired with Charlie McAvoy, while Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo rounded out the top-four defenders.

By scratching Forbort, Cassidy paired Mike Reilly with Connor Clifton on the third defensive pairing.

Everything else was left untouched.

Not much was happening in the first period other than the occasional big hit or two from McAvoy on Connor Brown.

The two clubs entered the first intermission still tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 11-9.

The Bruins also held the advantage in blocked shots (5-0) and hits (11-9), while the Senators led in takeaways (4-0), giveaways (7-1) and faceoff win percentage (56-44).

Both teams had yet to appear on the power play heading into the middle frame.

DeBrusk (8) received a pass that exploded off of his stick before batting it out of the air on a backhand shot into the twine to give Boston the first lead of the night at 2:37 of the second period.

Studnicka (2) had the only assist on the goal and the Bruins led, 1-0, as a result.

Moments later, Tim Stützle (10) responded with a goal of his own while crashing the slot on a rebound– burying the loose puck without any pressure as Boston’s defenders were out of position.

Austin Watson (2) and Artem Zub (10) notched the assists on Stützle’s goal as the Senators tied the game, 1-1, at 6:45 of the second period.

Midway through the period, Clifton rocked Parker Kelly with an errant elbow on an open ice hit– drawing the ire of Watson and Kelly and yielding a multitude of penalties to sort through for the official scorer between the penalty boxes.

Clifton was assessed a minor for elbowing and a minor for roughing at 11:49, while Foligno picked up a roughing infraction as No. 17 became entangled with Kelly and Watson.

Kelly received two roughing minors, rendering a power play for Ottawa in the process by virtue of Boston’s three total penalties from the scrum to the Sens’ two minor infractions at 11:49.

Shortly after making the kill, Foligno and Victor Mete exchanged a few words yielding a minor for holding on Mete and an interference infraction for Foligno at 15:59 of the second period.

The two teams skated at 4-on-4 for a pair of minutes without issue.

Late in the period, Forsberg flubbed an attempt at snagging the puck along the ice with his glove while Carlo (4) crashed the net and elevated a backhand chip shot into the open net from the doorstep at 18:54.

Charlie Coyle (12) and Reilly (8) tallied the assists on Carlo’s goal– his first in 20 games– as the Bruins took a, 2-1, lead heading into the second intermission.

Through 40 minutes of play, Boston outshot Ottawa, 23-20, including a, 12-11, advantage in the second period alone.

The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (9-5), while the Sens dominated in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (12-4), hits (19-16) and faceoff win% (52-49).

The Senators were 0/1 on the power play, while the Bruins had yet to see any action on the skater advantage heading into the final frame of regulation.

Craig Smith caught Nick Paul with a high stick and presented the Senators with another power play at 4:50 of the third period.

Ottawa failed to convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however.

Late in the period, Paul sent a pass to Brown, who fed Nick Holden (4) as the Sens defender pinched in from the point into the high slot and flung a shot through traffic past Swayman to tie the game, 2-2, at 16:06 of the third period.

Brown (18) and Paul (7) had the assists as the Senators forced overtime on home ice in front of a Saturday night crowd.

After 60 minutes of action, the B’s and Sens were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard, while Boston outshot Ottawa, 31-30, overall despite trailing the Senators, 10-8, in shots on goal in the third period alone.

The Bruins carried the advantage in blocked shots (13-10) and faceoff win% (52-48) heading into overtime, while the Senators led in takeaways (7-4), giveaways (15-9) and hits (28-19).

As there were no penalties called in the overtime period, Ottawa finished the night 0/2 on the skater advantage while Boston never touched the ice on the power play.

Cassidy sent out Bergeron, Smith and McAvoy to start the extra frame, while Senators head coach, D.J. Smith countered with Brady Tkachuk, Stützle and Erik Brännström.

Midway through overtime, Taylor Hall kept the puck in the attacking zone and sent a pass across the high slot to Pastrnak (25) for a one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle to Forsberg’s right side off of the far post and into the back of the net for the game-winner.

Hall (22) and Reilly (9) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 2:42 of overtime and the Bruins won, 3-2.

Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal, 33-31, including a, 2-1, advantage in overtime alone.

The B’s also exited the building leading in blocked shots (13-11) and faceoff win% (51-49), while the Senators left their own ice leading in giveaways (15-9) and hits (28-19).

The Bruins improved to 3-2 in overtime, as well as 4-4 past regulation this season, while Ottawa fell to 2-4 in overtime and 3-5 past regulation.

Boston also improved to 7-5-1 (4-2-1 on the road) when tied after the first period, 19-7-1 (10-3-1 on the road) when scoring first and 20-1-2 (13-0-2 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

The Senators fell to 8-11-2 (5-7-2 at home) when tied after one, 5-19-4 (3-11-2 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal and 1-19-1 (0-10-1 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins return home after going 2-1-1 on their four-game road trip to host the Colorado Avalanche Monday afternoon before hitting the road again to finish the month of February with a road trip through Seattle, San Jose and Los Angeles. 

Boston begins the month of March in Anaheim before swinging through Vegas and Columbus.

By Nick Lanciani

Three years in live sports production (TV/radio), a degree in communication, a minor in sport management and yet I paint things in my spare time to distract myself from my unemployment. Anyway, I write stuff on Down the Frozen River, make/appear on podcasts, used to write stuff for Couch Guy Sports and still apply to jobs for a living.