Dates, awards finalists, opting out, new faces, exhibition schedule and the Ottawa Senators rebrand.
Five different players scored a goal in the Boston Bruins’, 5-2, victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night at TD Garden as the B’s extended their current win streak to five games.
Tuukka Rask (7-0-1 record, 1.49 goals against average, .949 save percentage in eight games played) made 30 saves on 32 shots faced for a .938 SV% in the win for Boston.
Meanwhile, Senators goaltender, Craig Anderson (2-5-0, 3.09 GAA, .900 SV% in eight games played) stopped 27 shots out of 32 shots against for an .844 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 10-1-2 (22 points) and remained in control of the Atlantic Division with their 1st place standing over the Buffalo Sabres, who lost, 1-0, to the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Ottawa, meanwhile, fell to 3-8-1 (7 points) and remained in 8th place (last) in the Atlantic.
And now it’s time for the long injury report and lineup changes made by Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, prior to Saturday night’s matchup with the Sens.
Kevan Miller (knee) is practicing with the team this week in a red no-contact sweater and remains on track for a return soon, meanwhile fellow defender, John Moore (shoulder) is still on track for a mid-November return to the lineup.
Karson Kuhlman (fractured right tibia) is still out, joined by forwards, Joakim Nordstrom (infection, elbow), Par Lindholm (upper body) and Brett Ritchie (infection) in the press box.
Nordstrom’s infected elbow will keep him out of the next three games according to Cassidy, while Ritchie’s infection is similar to Nordstrom’s, but shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup for nearly as long.
As a result of all the injuries, Peter Cehlarik was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on an emergency basis.
Cehlarik has six goals and four assists (10 points) in seven games with Providence this season and will suit up on the right side of the third line with Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle.
On defense, Cassidy is giving Connor Clifton the night off and inserting Steven Kampfer on the third pairing with Matt Grzelcyk to keep the 31-year-old veteran fresh. Clifton was Boston’s only healthy scratch on Saturday.
Less than a minute into the action, the Senators forgot how basic counting works and had too many skaters on the ice, yielding the first power play of the game to the Bruins 46 seconds into the first period.
About 30 seconds later, Torey Krug cleared the puck off the endboards from his own end and presented David Pastrnak (13) with the chance for a breakaway after Pastrnak entered the zone and received the cross-corner dump before burying the puck in the net for his 8th power play goal of the season.
Krug (9) had the only assist on the goal and the B’s led, 1-0, at 1:17 of the first period.
A few minutes later, however, the game came to a screeching halt when Ottawa fourth liner, Scott Sabourin, tried to make a hit on Boston fourth liner, David Backes.
Sabourin’s head collided with Backes’ head, leaving the Sens forward apparently unconscious while falling to the ice before smashing face-first into the ground.
Blood pooled as Backes was the first player to wave to both benches for immediate medical assistance, while Sabourin laid motionless on the ice.
Trainers from both teams and medical responders in the building worked quickly to assess and deal with the situation as a stretcher was wheeled out from the ice resurfacer entrance.
Backes– along with the rest of the players for Boston and Ottawa– appeared visibly shaken and lined up to salute Sabourin with their sticks as the Sens forward was eventually put onto the stretcher and wheeled off the ice.
Sabourin gave the TD Garden crowd a thumbs up and was brought to a local hospital for further evaluation.
After about an 11 minute stoppage, play resumed with 16:52 remaining in the period as Backes was seen leaving the B’s bench and headed down the tunnel– whether it was related to being in a state of shock from Sabourin’s injury or due to concussion protocol was not immediately known.
The Senators later provided an update on Sabourin, stating that he “was conscious and communicating with the attending doctors at the time of leaving the arena”.
Almost midway through the opening frame, Coyle interfered with Nick Paul and was sent to the penalty box with a minor infraction at 7:40.
Ottawa did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage, but caught Boston on a sloppy play a few minutes after the special teams action.
Charlie McAvoy pinched in from the point to make an offensive play, but Boston’s plans backfired and the Sens caught the B’s heading the other way down the ice.
Ottawa entered their attacking zone with a 3-on-1 as Zdeno Chara was the lone defender for the Bruins, then maintained the pressure and control of the puck in the offensive zone after a failed one-timer attempt.
Logan Brown found Anthony Duclair (5) in the low slot to tie the game, 1-1, as Duclair elevated a shot high over Rask’s short side at 12:04.
Brown (2) and Mark Borowiecki (3) tallied the assists and the Senators were right back in the game.
In the closing moments of the first period, Brown went to make a hit on Danton Heinen, but couldn’t pull it off and instead went down the tunnel with an injury.
After one period of action, the score was tied, 1-1, with the Bruins holding the advantage in shots on goal, 11-6.
Boston also led in blocked shots (8-4) and faceoff win percentage (54-46), while Ottawa led in takeaways (2-1), giveaways (4-2) and hits (11-10) entering the first intermission.
The Senators were 0/1 on the skater advantage and the B’s were 1/1 on the power play heading into the second period.
Neither Backes, nor Brown were back for the start of the second period.
Both the Bruins and the Senators would provide updates on each player early in the middle frame, indicating that each skater wouldn’t be back for the rest of the game with an upper body injury.
Less than two minutes into the middle period, Pastrnak found Patrice Bergeron (6) in the low slot for a one-timer goal as Anderson split the pads while trying to break up the pass.
Bergeron’s goal was assisted by Pastrnak (13) and Brad Marchand (15) as the B’s jumped ahead, 2-1, at 1:51 of the second period.
But just as easy as the Bruins took the lead like they did in the first period, they gave up a quick answering goal in the second period as Connor Brown (2) banked a shot from about the goal line through Rask’s five-hole, tying the game, 2-2.
Borowiecki (4) and Dylan DeMelo (3) were credited with the assists at 3:04 of the second period as the Sens fought their way back into the game.
Moments later, Boston had too many skaters on the ice and were assessed a bench minor penalty, which was served by Cehlarik at 5:03.
About a minute after that, with the action on the ice getting chippy, a scrum after the whistle resulted in Marchand racking up six penalty minutes on a hooking minor and a spearing double-minor at 6:08.
The Bruins managed to survive the abbreviated 5-on-3 action and the ensuing extra long 5-on-4 power play for Ottawa, much to the delight of the fans at TD Garden.
Midway through the second period, Borowiecki slashed Pastrnak and was sent to the sin bin at 13:53.
Less than two minutes after the Sens killed off Borowiecki’s minor, the Senators defender found himself skating back to the box at 17:20– this time due to a tripping infraction after he caught Marchand and brought the Bruins forward down in Boston’s attacking zone.
The B’s did not convert on either Borowiecki infraction.
Through 40 minutes of play in Boston, the game was tied, 2-2, and the shots on goal were even, 21-21– despite Ottawa holding a, 15-10, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone.
The Bruins led in blocked shots (13-5) and faceoff win% (54-46), while the Senators led in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (7-5) and hits (21-13).
Ottawa was 0/5 on the power play, while Boston was 1/3 on the advantage entering the third period.
Early in the final frame of the game, Heinen (3) scooped up a loose puck and cut to the front of the net, wrapping the rubber biscuit around Anderson and into the twine.
Heinen’s individual effort put Boston ahead, 3-2, at 5:43 of the third period and was unassisted as No. 43 in black-and-gold had a strong game all night and walked away with the game-winning goal as a result.
Less than a minute after Heinen put the Bruins ahead on the scoreboard, Borowiecki was making his way back to the penalty box at 6:11 as the Sens defender hooked Bergeron.
Just 39 seconds into the ensuing skater advantage for Boston, Marchand (8) received a pass from Pastrnak from behind the goal line, through the crease and into the low slot– whereby Marchand was waiting to convert on the one-timer while crashing the net, giving the B’s another power play goal and the game’s first two-goal lead of the night, 4-2.
Pastrnak (14) and Bergeron (8) tallied the assists on Marchand’s power play goal at 6:50 of the third period.
With the primary assist on the goal, Pastrnak picked up a three-point night, including his 27th of the season through 13 games. That’s the most by a Bruin this far into a season since Bobby Orr had 27 points through 13 games in the 1974-75 season.
Orr wound up with 46 goals and 89 assists (135 points) in 80 games that season– his last full NHL season in his career– setting a career-high in goals as a result.
Meanwhile, with the secondary assist on Marchand’s goal, Bergeron picked up the 500th assist of his career, becoming the 6th player in Bruins franchise history to reach the career milestone, joining Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Orr, Phil Esposito and Wayne Cashman.
Almost ten minutes later, Heinen stole the puck and worked it over to Jake DeBrusk (2) for a one-timer goal from point blank to give the Bruins a three-goal lead, 5-2, at 16:16.
Heinen (3) had the only assist on DeBrusk’s goal as the B’s sealed the deal on their victory Saturday night over Ottawa.
At the final horn, Boston had defeated the Sens, 5-2, despite both teams finishing with 32 shots on goal.
Both teams had 11 shots on net in the third period alone, while the Bruins finished the game leading in blocked shots (16-10).
The Senators, meanwhile, finished the action leading in giveaways (11-9), hits (26-17) and faceoff win% (52-48), while going 0/5 on the skater advantage.
The B’s finished 2/4 on the power play Saturday.
Boston is now 6-0-1 at home and 8-1-1 when scoring the game’s first goal this season.
The Bruins conclude their current three-game homestand (2-0-0) on Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, then head up to Montreal to face the Canadiens the following night (Nov. 5th) before traveling to Detroit on Nov. 8th.
Brayden Point re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a bunch of other RFAs signed extensions, the Boston Pride were sold, Dan Girardi retired and DTFR’s season previews continued with the Atlantic Division.
29-47-6, 64 points, 8th in the Atlantic Division
Missed the postseason for the second straight year
Additions: F Artem Anisimov (acquired from CHI), F Ryan Callahan (acquired from TBL), F Tyler Ennis, F Jordan Szwarz, D Ron Hainsey, D Nikia Zaitsev (acquired from TOR)
Subtractions: F Chase Balisy (DEL), F Brian Gibbons (signed with CAR), F Oscar Lindberg (NLA), F Aaron Luchuk (traded to TOR), F Jim O’Brien (DEL), F Zack Smith (traded to CHI), D Cody Ceci (traded to TOR), D Stefan Elliott (KHL), D Ben Harpur (traded to TOR), G Mike Condon (traded to TBL)
Still unsigned: F Darren Archibald, F Magnus Paajarvi, F Adam Tambellini, D Erik Burgdoerfer, D Justin Falk
Re-signed: F Michael Carcone (rights acquired in a trade with TOR, then re-signed), F Nick Paul, F Brady Tkachuk, F Colin White, D Christian Wolanin
Offseason Analysis: Senators owner, Eugene Melnyk, promised roster turnover in that awkward video with defender, Mark Borowiecki, last season and boy what a turnover the Sens have had since last year.
Bobby Ryan’s $7.250 million cap hit is still the highest on the team, despite Melnyk’s well-known intention on trading his biggest contract remaining– even though General Manager, Pierre Dorion, can’t even find a team that’s looking to get to the salary cap floor to send him to.
Meanwhile, Ottawa has $15.325 million in dead cap space on the long-term injured reserve (Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik and Clarke MacArthur), though knowing Melnyk, he won’t bother to urge Dorion to place his assets on the long term injured reserve and would rather shelf the cap space for the sake of keeping the payroll down.
There’s nothing else to say about this organization.
It’s explicitly out there that they’re not even going to give a sniff of an effort until at least “2021” when they plan on being competitive for a period of about four years.
On the bright side, Colin White signed a six-year extension worth $4.750 million per season, which will take him right up to unrestricted free agency after the 2024-25 season.
If he’s not traded before then, he’s at least provided himself with just enough insurance to get through the first chapter of his career as a Senator.
Dorion traded Cody Ceci as part of a package to the Toronto Maple Leafs and is looking to recreate the Dion Phaneuf trade from the Leafs to Ottawa, in which Phaneuf’s career was rejuvenated before later being traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
This time around, Nikita Zaitsev is looking for a turnaround at 27-years-old, but he won’t be doing it without any familiar company as 38-year-old, Ron Hainsey, was not kept around in Toronto and joined the Sens this July.
Even D.J. Smith is jumping ship as a Maple Leafs assistant coach and taking up his first NHL head coaching job behind the bench for the Senators this season.
Ottawa’s defense is still hurting after trading away Erik Karlsson last September, however this season’s defensive pairings with Zaitsev and Hainsey joining Thomas Chabot, Christian Jaros and perhaps Erik Brannstrom throughout the full season will only help improve the younger blue liners in the long-run.
In the grand scope of things, the Senators are going to need to find Craig Anderson’s replacement as the 38-year-old starting goaltender intends to finish his career in Ottawa, but has one-year remaining on his current contract.
If there’s any positive takeaway from last season, it’s that despite finishing last in the overall league standings, the Sens managed to have only the second-worst goal differential with a minus-60.
They also were the only team without 30 or more wins last season.
Offseason Grade: D+
The defense is better than it was last season, but it’s not the greatest in the league. The addition of Artem Anisimov from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Zack Smith strengthens the Senators down the middle, but for how long (Anisimov is signed through 2020-21 and currently 31-years-old). Even with Brady Tkachuk and a plethora of youth in the system– good or bad– there’s still a general sense of existential dread in Ottawa.
Nonetheless, there’s no excuse for an intentionally drawn out rebuild with no legitimate end goal in sight. It’s like they’re trying to be the Detroit Lions of the NHL.
For the second game in-a-row, the Boston Bruins came from behind in the third period and won with a game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation to extend their 2nd longest point-streak in franchise history to 19 games with a, 3-2, win over the Ottawa Senators.
Brad Marchand, Chris Wagner and David Krejci had goals for the Bruins, while Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brady Tkachuk scored for the Senators.
Tuukka Rask (24-8-5 record, 2.30 goals against average, .921 save percentage in 38 games played) made 17 saves on 19 shots against en route to the win for Boston on Saturday night at TD Garden.
Rask is now 16-0-3 in his last 19 appearances, while the Bruins are 15-0-4 in their last 19 games.
Ottawa goaltender, Craig Anderson (14-23-4, 3.53 GAA, .903 SV% in 43 GP) stopped 28 out of 31 shots faced for a .903 SV% in the loss and fell to 0-11-1 in his last 13 starts.
Boston improved to 42-17-9 (93 points) on the season and maintained 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, while the Senators fell to 23-40-6 (52 points) and remained last in the division.
The Bruins improved to 4-0-0 in the month of March and finished their six-game homestand with a perfect, 6-0-0, record. Likewise, the B’s improved to 27-5-5 on the season when scoring first in a game and 21-3-5 overall since Jan. 1st.
Kevan Miller (upper body), David Pastrnak (left thumb), Jake DeBrusk (lower body) and Marcus Johansson (lung contusion) remained out of the lineup due to injury, while Steven Kampfer was the only healthy scratch for Boston.
The B’s recalled Lee Stempniak on emergency basis from the Providence Bruins (AHL) hours before the game on Saturday and Bruce Cassidy inserted the NHL veteran winger on the second line with David Krejci and Joakim Nordstrom.
Peter Cehlarik took over for Nordstrom on the third line to start the game, though Cassidy adjusted his lines during the 60-minute effort, placing Danton Heinen alongside Krejci and sitting Stempniak in the closing minutes of regulation.
Heinen opened the event sheet with a minor penalty for slashing at 4:32 of the first period. Ottawa’s ensuing power play was cut short when Zack Smith was penalized for high-sticking Brandon Carlo at 6:28.
The resulting abbreviated skater advantage for Boston didn’t even see it’s full tenure as Charlie McAvoy tripped Brian Gibbons at 8:07 and gave the Sens another chance on the power play.
In the final seconds of the opening frame, Anthony Duclair was called for holding and sent to the penalty box at 19:58 of the first period.
Boston’s ensuing power play would carry over into the second period, while both teams entered the first intermission tied on the scoreboard, 0-0.
The B’s led in shots on goal (12-6), takeaways (5-2) and face-off win percentage (59-41) after 20 minutes of play, while the Senators led in blocked shots (5-0), giveaways (4-2) and hits (10-6).
Both teams were 0/2 on the power play entering the seconds period.
Early in the middle frame, Grzelcyk was sent to the sin bin for high-sticking Ottawa winger, Bobby Ryan, at 2:27 of the second period.
The Sens did not convert on the ensuing power play.
Magnus Paajarvi hooked Noel Acciari at 9:04 of the second period and the Bruins went on the power play for the third time of the night.
Almost a minute into the power play, the B’s were dominating possession in the attacking zone, yielding a chance from Torey Krug over to Marchand, whereby Marchand (28) settled the puck and unloaded a shot past Anderson to make it, 1-0, Bruins at 10:11.
Krug (41) and Patrice Bergeron (38) had the assists on Marchand’s power play goal. Boston recorded six shots on goal (including Marchand’s goal) on the power play.
Less than a minute later, Pageau (3) capitalized on a defensive breakdown by the Bruins and snuck into the slot all by himself to receive a pass from Tkachuk and tie the game, 1-1, at 11:08.
Tkachuk (20) had the only assist on the goal.
Both teams entered the second intermission, tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard, while the Bruins led in shots on goal (26-14– including a, 14-8, advantage in the second period alone).
Ottawa held onto the advantage in blocked shots (9-5) and hits (17-10) after 40 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Boston controlled the game in takeaways (9-5) and face-off win% (58-42). Both teams had seven giveaways each.
The Sens were 0/3 on the power play through two periods and the B’s were 1/3 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame of regulation.
Almost three minutes into the third period, Boston bungled a chance to clear the puck out of their own zone, leading to a giveaway right to the tape of Tkachuk’s stick in front of Rask.
Tkachuk (16) pounced on the chance and gave the Senators their first lead of the night, 2-1, at 2:46 of the third period.
Chris Tierney (35) had the only assist on Tkachuk’s goal.
Dylan DeMelo and Marchand received matching minor penalties at 6:54 and momentum drifted towards the Bruins’ way.
Krug fired a shot from the point that Wagner (11) redirected past Anderson to tie the game, 2-2, at 8:47 of the third period. Krug (42) and McAvoy (17) had the assists on Wagner’s 5th goal in his last 11 games.
In the final minute of regulation, Krejci (18) tipped a shot from Heinen into the twine to give the Bruins the lead, 3-2, and help secure the victory without needing overtime at 19:15.
Krejci not has 8-11–19 totals in his last 17 games, while Heinen (17) and Grzelcyk (14) notched the assists.
The final total in shots on goal read in favor of the Bruins, 31-19, as did giveaways (15-8, Boston) and face-off win% (51-49, Boston). Ottawa finished the night leading in blocked shots (13-8) and hits (25-22).
The Sens went 0/3 on the power play, while the B’s finished 1/3 on the skater advantage.
Boston has come from behind to win 13 times over the course of their 19-game point streak.
Bruins defender, John Moore, participated in his 500th career NHL game and recorded a shot on goal in 14:41 time on ice.
The Bruins travel to PPG Paints Arena to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday before swinging through Columbus to face the Blue Jackets on Tuesday (March 12th) and Winnipeg on Thursday (March 14th) before returning home to face the Blue Jackets again on March 16th.
The Ottawa Senators (23-39-6, 52 points, 8th in the Atlantic Division) visit the Boston Bruins (41-17-9, 91 points, 2nd in the Atlantic Division) Saturday night at TD Garden in their final meeting of the season. The Bruins are 3-0-0 in the season series and are looking to sweep the Senators in back-to-back regular seasons.
Boston defeated Ottawa, 6-3, on Oct. 8th in Boston, 4-1, on Oct. 23rd in Ottawa and, 2-1, in overtime on Dec. 9th in Ottawa.
After being recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on emergency basis, Lee Stempniak is set to make his season debut for the B’s as Jake DeBrusk (lower body) is expected to miss this weekend’s action, along with his fellow second-line winger, Marcus Johansson (lung contusion).
David Pastrnak (left thumb) and Kevan Miller (upper body) are also still out of the lineup for Boston as the Bruins look to extend their 18-game point streak.
Tuukka Rask (23-8-5, 2.31 goals against average, .921 save percentage in 37 games played) will be in net for the B’s on Saturday, while Jaroslav Halak will start Sunday night on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
John Moore will take part in his 500th career NHL game and the B’s are looking to close out their current homestand with a perfect 6-0-0 record.
Joakim Nordstrom is expected to lineup alongside David Krejci’s left side on the second line, while Stempniak will fill in for Johansson on Krejci’s right wing.
Peter Cehlarik will take Nordstrom’s slot on the third line left wing alongside Charlie Coyle and David Backes, while Boston’s first and fourth lines remain the same.
The Bruins have not lost a game in regulation since Jan. 19th and are 20-3-5 this season since Jan. 1st.
Ottawa is slated to start Craig Anderson (14-22-4, 3.54 GAA, .903 SV% in 42 GP) in net on Saturday as the Sens are coming off a, 4-2, loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Boston is coming off a, 4-3, comeback victory against the Florida Panthers on Thursday as Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying and game-winning goals for the B’s in the final minute of regulation.
Grzelcyk’s goal was his first in 49 games.
It was just the 2nd time in franchise history that the Bruins overcame a deficit to win in the final minute of regulation (previous, Dec. 4, 1986) as Boston extended it’s current points streak to 18 games– matching their 2nd best point streak in franchise history back in the 1968-69 season (Dec. 16, 1968-Jan. 30, 1969, 14-0-4).
The longest point streak in Bruins franchise history was 23 games (15 wins, eight ties) from Dec. 22, 1940 to Feb. 23, 1941.
Rask made 22 saves on 25 shots faced in the win against Florida, while Bergeron scored a pair of goals for his 39th career multi-goal game.
Krejci also had a goal for Boston on Thursday.
The DTFR Duo honors Ted Lindsay, addresses a potential outdoor game hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes, talk John Tavares’ “welcome” back to Long Island, can’t figure out the Ottawa Senators coaching change circus and more.
Evgeni Malkin did a bad thing, the 2019 NWHL All-Star Game broke attendance records and more trades happened in the NHL. Patrice Bergeron reached 1,000 games and David Pastrnak is injured for the Boston Bruins leaving Nick in a glass case of emotion.
Plus, Eugene Melnyk plans to spend money, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a new alternate sweater, Randy Carlyle was fired and Scott Niedermayer will have his number retired (again) this week. Finally, Connor has a new segment.
A bunch of minor trades were made in the last week, the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game rosters were released, as well as the 2019-20 outdoor game schedule. Nick and Connor also discuss the legacy that was the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the 2019 IIHF World Junior Quarterfinal upsets.
*Editor’s Note: Of course, after recording this week’s episode, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed G Mike McKenna off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.