Saturday, December 13, 2014

Game 30: Divisional Games Matter

What better way to spend your Saturday afternoon than by watching the Boston Bruins play a hockey game? 

Rhetorical question or not, this matchup was going to be intriguing. The B's closed out the week by hosting the Ottawa Senators in a matinee game. This was the second time this season these two Atlantic Division foes squared off, with the B's getting the better of the Sens back in November. 

The Senators just recently fired their head coach and the team is not at full strength, so this was an opportune time for Boston to steal a victory before heading out on yet another road trip next week. Ottawa does have a stud in Bobby Ryan, and he is a legit offensive weapon. The Bruins were going to have to be cautious with his line throughout the day.

Tuukka Rask was back in net for Boston on this day as he opposed Robin Lehner. The player output remained the same as Thursday, but the line combos were often mashed up throughout the afternoon. 

In the first period, the puck remained near center ice with neither team really dominating the other. They each got very few scoring chances and had brain cramps full of sloppy play. Overall, it was a pretty listless opening 20 minutes. Craig Cunningham did break through for the Bruins on the penalty kill to record his first-career NHL goal--a shot that should have been saved by Lehner, but a goal nonetheless. 

The Senators started to pick up the pace in the second period as they put immense pressure on the B's defense. Rask made several big stops, but he did let one get by on a beauty of a play by Mika Zibanejad. Loui Eriksson was able to put the Bruins back ahead after some great zone time in the Sens end. 

Unfortunately, the Senators tied the game up at two in the third period to send the game into overtime. After a scoreless and ridiculously entertaining extra frame, Ryan was the one who ended it in the shootout and gave the Senators the full two points in this game. Rask finished with 29 saves. 

Up next for the B's: a road trip through the Central Division. 

Gold Star: Torey Krug...He played a well-rounded game for a full sixty minutes. He was all over the ice and contributed in a big way at both ends of the rink.

Black Star: Zdeno Chara...He really is still trying to shake out the rust since returning to the lineup. So far, he has four minor penalties in the last two games.

Game Thirty Box Score

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