Thursday, April 5, 2012
Game Eighty One: Road Finale
The Bruins were on the road Thursday night for the final time in this regular season. They were in action against the Ottawa Senators, a potential first-round playoff match-up.
While the Senators were sporting their full roster on the ice, the Bruins left some of their top guns back in Boston. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Tim Thomas did not travel with the team in order to get some rest. Johnny Boychuk also remained in Boston due to a sprained knee and he is listed as day-to-day.
Goaltender Anton Khudobin made his Bruins' debut in this game against the Senators. Adam McQuaid made his return to the lineup after missing the last three games with an eye injury.
With the history that surrounds these two divisional rivals, this one was sure to be an interesting one. The Sens controlled much of the puck in the opening period. They were able to get 17 shots on Khudobin in the first 20 minutes, but he stopped them all.
The only goal of the period belonged to the Bruins as Benoit Pouliot buried a shot on a nice pass from Brian Rolston. The scoring play started with Jordan Caron winning the puck in the neutral zone. That goal was Pouliot's 16th of the season, the most he has had with one team in his NHL career.
The B's started to find their rhythm in the second period. Greg Zanon grabbed his first goal as a Bruin on a shot from the top of the point. He finished the night with 10 blocked shots as well. At the other end of the ice, the Senators kept pounding...and pounding...and pounding the net with shot after shot until they finally got to Khudobin. Jason Spezza released a shot that hit the post and trickled in to cut the lead in half.
The physical play picked up for both teams in the third period. It was surprising that it took that long in the game for the hits and chippy play to get going. The Bruins battled through all the hits and put another tally on the board. Milan Lucic recorded his 26th goal of the season on assists from David Krejci and Torey Krug. That was Krug's first career NHL point.
The Bruins knocked off the Senators with a final score of 3-1 and improve to 5-1-0 against Ottawa this season.
McQuaid left the game early, recording only eight shifts for seven minutes. It was unaware as to whether or not his absence was due to his eye injury.
The Bruins will wrap up the regular season on Saturday afternoon when they host the Buffalo Sabres.
Gold Star: Anton Khudobin (44 saves on 45 shots, 1 goal allowed, .978 save percentage)...How about that for a stat line? This kid should be a brick wall during his stint in Boston.
Black Star: Dennis Seidenberg...What a shaky game he had. Almost had a costly giveaway. He looked totally uncomfortable without Zdeno Chara skating by his side.