Tag Archives: Nick Paul

Five different Bruins score in, 5-2, win over Senators

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.

Ottawa Senators 2019-20 Season Preview

Ottawa Senators

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.

Krug, Bruins down Sens, 2-1, in OT

Torey Krug sealed the deal on a game-winning goal in overtime Sunday night at Canadian Tire Centre, as the Boston Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators, 2-1.

Tuukka Rask (7-6-2, 2.50 goals against average, .917 save percentage in 15 games played) made 27 saves on 28 shots against for a .964 SV% in the overtime win for Boston and improved to 3-0-0 against Ottawa this season.

The Bruins netminder improved to a career record of 42-18-9 in the month of December.

Ottawa netminder, Mike McKenna (2-1-2, 3.98 GAA, .899 SV% in six GP), turned aside 42 out of 44 shots faced (.955 SV%) in the loss for the Senators

Boston improved to 16-10-4 (36 points) on the season and held onto 4th place in the Atlantic Division, as well as the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins are two points behind the Buffalo Sabres (0-3-2 in their last five games) for 3rd in the division.

The Sens fell to 13-14-4 (30 points) on the season, but remained in 7th place in the Atlantic as a result of Sunday’s loss.

Bruce Cassidy left his lines intact from Saturday night’s, 6-3, victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at home for Sunday night’s matchup with the Senators on the road with Rask getting the start in goal.

Jake DeBrusk (not feeling well) didn’t make the trip to Ottawa, but may return next week and Jeremy Lauzon joined Noel Acciari as the only healthy scratches for Boston, while Zdeno Chara (left MCL), Patrice Bergeron (upper body), Urho Vaakanainen (concussion) and Kevan Miller (throat) remained out of the lineup.

Mark Stone (15) kicked off the game’s scoring with his one-timer goal on a two-on-one rush entering the attacking zone at 12:51 of the first period to give the Senators the lead, 1-0.

Charlie McAvoy tried to pinch down and protect an errant puck from going the other way, which led to Ottawa’s breakout as the Sens easily sneaked past Matt Grzelcyk for the skater advantage on the rush.

Colin White (11) and Ben Harpur (1) had the assists on Stone’s goal.

Late in the period, Chris Wagner cross-checked Thomas Chabot and the Bruins went on the penalty kill for the first time of the night at 18:11 of the first period.

Less than a minute later, Boston was shorthanded by two skaters thanks to Brad Marchand’s errant elbow delivered up high on Maxime Lajoie at 19:10.

Ottawa’s abbreviated 5-on-3 power play would carry over into the second period as time expired on the opening frame of the game.

The Senators led, 1-0, entering the first intermission and the Bruins led in shots on goal, 12-11.

Boston also held onto the advantage in blocked shots (3-1), while Ottawa maintained the lead in giveaways (9-2), hits (11-9) and face-off win percentage (62-38) after 20 minutes of play. Both teams had three takeaways each and the Sens were 0/2 on the power play.

Early in the second period, Harpur got into a bit of a shoving match with Bruins fourth liner, Sean Kuraly.

The two quickly escalated into a battle of the fists at 6:51, in which 
Harpur delivered a few quick blows that left Kurlay bloodied. Both received five-minute majors for fighting, with Harpur receiving an extra two minutes for instigating and an automatic ten-minute misconduct.

Boston was on the power play for the first time of the night and sustained quality pressure in the attacking zone– moving the puck around with ease, as Nick Paul served Harpur’s instigator infraction.

Finally, about a minute into the power play, the Bruins worked the puck around the offensive zone enough to work McKenna out from his crease, leaving a gapping hole for Marchand (8) to fill with a power play goal at 7:49 of the second period.

David Pastrnak (15) and Krug (15) notched the assists on Marchand’s goal and the game was tied, 1-1.

Through two periods of play, the game was even, 1-1, and the Bruins were outshooting the Senators, 27-23. Boston outshot Ottawa, 15-12, in the second period alone, as the Sens led in just about every statistical category entering the second intermission.

Ottawa led in blocked shots (7-6), takeaways (11-4), giveaways (15-8) and face-off win% (56-44) after 40 minutes of play, while Boston led in hits (25-21).

The Senators remained 0/2 on the power play, while the B’s were 1/1 after two periods.

Zack Smith jumpstarted the third period with a hooking infraction against Pastrnak, 23 seconds into the final frame of regulation.

Boston was unable to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

Lajoie tripped up Pastrnak at 10:22 of the third period, but the Bruins power play was short-lived as Pastrnak subsequently interfered with Stone at 11:07.

Pastrnak’s penalty of his own doing came on the heels of a tremendous glove save by Rask as the Bruins netminder worked the net side-to-side on an incoming 2-on-1.

Great saves were a theme of the evening, as McKenna would later show in overtime by stacking the pads in vintage fashion to deny the Bruins of a surefire game-winner.

At the end of 60 minutes, the Bruins and Senators were still tied, 1-1. Boston outshot Ottawa, 41-27, through regulation and held a, 14-4, advantage in shots on goal in the third period alone.

The Sens led in blocked shots (11-9), takeaways (14-5), giveaways (21-9) and face-off win% (57-43) after three periods, while the B’s led in hits (35-26).

Ottawa went 0/3 on the power play on the night and the Bruins went 1/3 as no penalties were called in overtime.

Boston worked the cycle to their advantage and rotated the puck through the attacking zone midway through the overtime period.

A couple of slick back passes led the puck to Marchand’s stick, whereby the Bruins winger held onto it for just long enough to find Krejci working behind the net in Wayne Gretzky’s office.

Krejci wrapped around the goal to find Krug (2) with a sexy saucer pass for the one-timer goal as the B’s defender was on the doorstep of the crease to the left of McKenna.

Krug’s game-winner secured the 2-1 victory for Boston in overtime and gave Krejci (19) and Marchand (21) the primary and secondary assists at 3:07 of overtime.

In the last three games, Krejci now has two goals and two assists (four points).

The Bruins finished the night leading in shots on goal, 44-28, and outshot the Sens in overtime, 3-1. Ottawa finished Sunday night leading in blocked shots (11-9), giveaways (21-9) and face-off win% (57-43), while the B’s led in hits (36-26).

As a result of the loss, the Senators fell to 8-6-3 when scoring first this season.

Boston travels back home for a Tuesday night matchup with the Arizona Coyotes on home ice before traveling to PPG Paints Arena for a Friday night tangle with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ottawa Senators 2018-19 Season Preview

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Ottawa Senators

28-43-11, 67 points, 7th in Atlantic Division

Additions: F Chase Balisy, D Julius Bergman (acquired from SJ), F Mikkel Boedker (acquired from SJ), F Paul Carey, G Mike McKenna, F Adam Tambellini

Subtractions: F Mike Blunden (signed, Austria), D Fredrik Claesson (signed with NYR), D Cody Donaghey (traded to SJ), G Chris Driedger (signed with Springfield Thunderbirds, AHL), F Mike Hoffman (traded to SJ, flipped to FLA), D Ville Pokka (signed, KHL), F Tyler Randell (signed with Rochester Americans, AHL), G Daniel Taylor (signed, KHL)

Still Unsigned: F Nick Moutrey, F Max Reinhart

Re-signed: D Cody Ceci, F Nick Paul, F Mark Stone

Offseason Analysis: The bottom fell out for the Ottawa Senators in 2017-18– not just on the ice, but off it too. It’s hard to ignore the dumpster fire near the Rideau Canal, but tires burn hot and bright. Everything, yes, everything is horrible in Ottawa– excuse me, Kanata, Ontario (since Senators owner Eugene Melnyk cannot get a downtown arena deal done).

There is no plan for a future (they protected their 2018 1st round pick from the Colorado Avalanche in the Matt Duchene three-way trade, leaving their 2019 1st round pick– and best chance at Jack Hughes– exposed) and the organization is rushing Brady Tkachuk into the big time when he could get just as much, if not more, for his development from another season at Boston University– where at least there’ll be a structured game-flow and not just a 1-3-1.

General Manager Pierre Dorion was faced with the tough task of having to trade one of his best forwards for almost nothing due to an off-ice controversy. In the meantime, superstar defender Erik Karlsson is still a pending-UFA in July 2019 on the roster.

Contrary to expert analysts’ opinions (and regular fans’ opinions) around the sport, Ottawa does not have to trade Karlsson. There is no timetable other than the chance that Karlsson walks away for nothing next summer.

The Duchene trade didn’t happen until last November. A Karlsson deal can happen anytime.

It’s understandable that a fanbase would want to get something rather than nothing– even more so when the fate of Karlsson in a Senators uniform is all but sealed. Melnyk doesn’t spend money on good, franchise, players. Just ask Jason Spezza five years ago.

He does, however, still want to move Bobby Ryan’s massive $7.250 million per season contract through the end of the 2021-22 season.

Rebuilds don’t happen in one offseason.

Unfortunately for Sens fans, this might not be rock bottom yet. It might take another frustrating year (or several), especially the longer the franchise waits to shake things up in the front office.

Dorion and Head Coach Guy Boucher can– without a doubt– expect not to see the results on the other side of these trying times.

Nine current NHL roster players are pending-UFAs in 2019, including Duchene, Mark Stone and Karlsson.

Yes, that’s right, Ottawa may lose their three biggest remaining pieces from 2017-18’s dumpster fire during or after the 2018-19 campaign.

Stone agreed to a one-year extension in August. The 26-year-old forward will be making $7.350 million this season with no years of UFA protection from an organizational standpoint.

There’s really nothing else to say about the Senators situation. Dorion waited too long to move assets that could’ve been dealt leading up to or at the trade deadline, controversies came out publicly and now the ship is already primed for the bottom of the Atlantic (Division, if you will accept the metaphor) without any guarantee of landing a top prospect in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

This colossal mismanagement starts at the very top.

Despite all considerations of defining an offseason timeline as truly just the offseason, unless Ottawa trades someone tomorrow, they have failed in every sense to get better.

Offseason Grade: F

Buying out Alexandre Burrows after acquiring him and signing him immediately to a two-year extension in a league that is only getting younger and faster, while also handing Cody Ceci a one-year, $4.300 million extension this offseason (because you lack defensive depth past Erik Karlsson) doesn’t look great, especially when your biggest addition was Mikkel Boedker (at the expense of trading Mike Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks because you didn’t want him to go to a division rival– oops, would you look at that, San Jose flipped him to the Florida Panthers).

Sure, Brady Tkachuk exists, but if there’s nobody left to match his playing style, well, it’s going to be a long season.