Young Senators Squad Scores Three Unanswered in Second Period for 3-2 Win
Boston, MA – A pair of second-period penalties led to the Boston Bruins squandering a 2-1 lead for the second straight game. The visiting Ottawa Senators took advantage of a five-on-three, and with the remaining five-on-four, they beat the Bruins 3-2 in front of 17,850 at TD Garden. Boston has dropped three straight and four of five.
The Senators controlled the action early in the game, but Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark was getting in front of everything Ottawa put on goal. Ullmark had three or four quality stops in the opening two minutes before the Bruins found their footing. Unfortunately for Boston, one of Ullmark’s saves was with his head. The 6′-4″ Swede took an Erik Brannstrom slapshot from the top of the left circle to the helmet early in the game. Ullmark elected to play on after a brief consultation with the Bruins’ training staff.
Boston forward Marc McLaughlin continued his shot streak by netting his third goal in six games since signing out of Boston College. The forward from Billerica, Massachusetts gave the Bruins the lead at 6:36 of the first when he redirected a Nick Foligno shot past Senators goalie Anton Forsberg (40 saves).
Jesper Froden potted his first NHL goal at 19:01 when he tipped a Matt Grzelcyk shot from the blue line past Forsberg to give the Bruins the 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.
“I tried to stay in front of the net, battle for the puck,” said Froden of his goal. “I lost my glove and I was thinking should I change or should I stay? Then I saw that the D got the puck and I just tried to be in the lane and tip the puck there. It went in and it was an amazing feeling.”
“I tried to come in and bring the energy to the guys, skate a lot, and battle,” added Froden of his first game with Boston in over a month and sixth of the season.
Ullmark turned back eight Senators shots during the first period but couldn’t come back out for the second before calling it a night during the first intermission.
Ottawa was 2-14-2 when trailing after the first period coming into the game, while the Bruins were 25-4-1 when leading after one. However, the Senators took advantage of a cold Jeremy Swayman (21 saves) just forty-seven ticks into the middle frame when Brady Tkachuk bounced a shot from behind the goal line off Swayman’s backside, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
The Bruins fell victim to the opposing team’s power-play for the second straight game. Tkachuk drew a High-Sticking call on Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly at 8:39. Patrice Bergeron went to the penalty box for Hooking at 8:46, which led to the Senators’ five-on-three power play.
The Senators capitalized on the five-on-three at 9:30 when centerman Josh Norris blasted a one-timer past Swayman from the top of the right circle. Drake Batherson and Tim Stützle assisted on Norris’ 33rd.
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Fifty-seven seconds later, the Senators had the lead for good when Stützle banged in a loose puck in front of Swayman for his 18th. Batherson and Tkachuk assisted on the go-ahead power-play goal.
“I don’t know if it’s fatigue or lack of urgency. It’s tough to see,” said Bruins defenseman Grzelcyk of the second-period struggles. “The two penalties, they capitalize on both. We have to put out the fire there, but it’s something we have to address.”
“They (Ottawa) made a lot of good plays. They got to run the plays they wanted to, went through Stützle a lot,” said Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s a dangerous player, and made some good plays. We were a little late with our assignments. That five-on-three was a good shot (by Norris); give credit for executing. What they did a lot better than us was hit the net quick with their plays. They hit the net.”
In the third, the Bruins controlled the early action, but Forsberg’s play and a continuation of the penalties kept the Bruins from establishing consistent pressure on Ottawa. Swayman turned back two Connor Brown breakaway bids to keep the Bruins within striking distance.
Credit the Senators, who, despite being 27-40-6 and in seventh place in the Atlantic Division, lock down the win when leading after two periods. Ottawa is now 21-1-2 when leading after two.
Boston has struggled without David Pastrnak on the power play. The team’s leading scorer has been out of the last five games due to a core injury. Meanwhile, a patchwork defense has been inadequate as Grzelcyk, Brandon Carlo, and Hampus Lindholm have all missed time over the last few games.
“Losing Pasta and his shot, teams know how good he is over there,” Grzelcyk said of the power-plays lack of success. “A lot of times they take him away, and we kind of play four-on-three from there so we lose a little bit of that.”
“They’re doing a great job,” said Grzelcyk when asked about McLaughlin and Froden contributing to the cause. “They both work really hard. They’re not the biggest guys but they’re both fast and smart hockey players. It’s really impressive with them both stepping into the lineup.”
The Bruins will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at 12:30 pm EST at TD Garden.