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.