Thursday, February 28, 2013

Game 17: Back Into The Division

The last time that the Boston Bruins played a game at home was on February 12, over two weeks ago. Most teams would be glad to return home to play a few games, but when you go 4-1-0 on a five-game road trip just like the Bruins did, the feeling must be bittersweet.

Regardless, the Bruins were back on TD Garden ice Thursday night when they took on the Ottawa Senators. This was the first game of a three-game homestand for the B's.

The Senators were coming into this game just as hot as the Bruins, winning five straight games. With all of the injury problems and trade rumors surrounding this Ottawa team, they are fighting for the top spot in the Northeast Division. 

Tuukka Rask was back in goal for the Bruins in this game. He opposed Robin Lehner, a goaltender who has very little NHL experience. The division will be even closer this year and since this was the first meeting of the season between Ottawa and Boston, points were going to be vital. 

In the first period, the Bruins picked up right where they left off as far as the physical play. The Senators did not back down though. They answered most of the hits and chippiness presented by the B's.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, each team banged in a goal in the second period. Nathan Horton scored his seventh goal of the year on assists from Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic. For the Sens, Jim O'Brien scored on the power play on assists from Zack Smith and Kaspars Daugavins. The Bruins penalty kill could not hold up their lengthy streak.

The score remained the same through the third period and into overtime. With over a minute remaining in the extra period, Patrice Bergeron squeaked in the game-winning goal that was upheld by video review. Boston knocked off Ottawa by a final score of 2-1. That was a great way to get two points and jump into second place in the division.

The Bruins will take the ice again on Saturday afternoon when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Gold Star: Tuukka Rask (30 saves on 31 shots, 1 goal allowed, .968 save percentage)...The young goaltender continues to impress.

Black Star: Shawn Thornton...He is actually averaging a career-low in ice time so far this season. There just has not been too many opportunities for him to play his style. 

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