Monday, March 11, 2013

Game 23: Claude Julien Ties A Legend

The Boston Bruins are starting to play up to their expectations. It really is amazing what a power play goal and production from your bottom two lines can do for the confidence of a team.

The B's were back on the road Monday night against the Ottawa Senators, a team that they already defeated earlier on in the year. 

While the Bruins were looking for their third straight victory, it was not going to be easy. Coming into this game, Boston was the best road team in the Eastern Conference (8-1-2) while Ottawa was the best home team in the Eastern Conference (9-1-2). That situation screams for the phrase: "Something has got to give." 

This game was also a chance for the Senators to get back to basics after returning home from an unsuccessful road trip (1-2-2). In order to build some momentum, the Sens sent out Robin Lehner to start in goal to oppose Tuukka Rask. Zdeno Chara skated in his 500th game for the Bruins on Monday night.

In the first period, the Bruins constantly moved the puck backwards. It was as if moving the puck up ice was a struggle for them. Their early sloppy play led to the Senators recording two quick goals. Guillaume Latendresse and Kyle Turris notched the tallies for Ottawa. Thanks to some key saves by Rask and Shawn Thornton scoring his second goal of the season towards the end of the period, it became a different game for the Bruins. 

Both teams started to be a bit more conservative in the second period. It also did not help that the puck would not settle on the sticks well throughout this entire game. A goal was still scored by Daniel Paille of the Bruins to tie the game up. David Krejci, who assisted on the goal, skated in his 400th NHL game on this night.

A scary moment occurred in the second period when Chris Kelly collided knee-to-knee with Chris Neil of the Sens. He later had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game.

Things remained quiet through the third period and into overtime. In the shootout, David Krejci got the game-winning goal in the fourth round to secure the 3-2 victory for the Bruins. Claude Julien is now tied with Milt Schmidt for second all-time in Bruins history with 245 wins as a head coach.

The Bruins will be back on the ice Tuesday night when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins.

Gold Star: Tuukka Rask (30 saves on 32 shots, 2 goals allowed, .938 save percentage)...The two-goal deficit did not phase the netminder. In fact, it made him play better.

Black Star: Nathan Horton...He finished with a minus-2 and was thrown around all over the ice. He has now gone without a point in three straight games.

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