Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Game 66: Happy Birthday, Rask/Welcome Home, Spooner

Here we go, folks. The busy month of March continues for the Boston Bruins.

On Tuesday night, they traveled up to Ottawa to take on the surging Senators.

The Senators, winners of three-straight games, have found themselves right back in playoff contention. Heading into Tuesday night, the Sens trailed the Bruins by only five points in the Atlantic Division. Another tidbit of information that might bode well for Ottawa is that they have won the last two meetings against Boston...both games needing extra time and both settled by the stick of Bobby Ryan. 

For the Bruins, they have found their niche recently. Winners of four of their last five, the B's love the addition of Maxime Talbot and the red-hot play of Brad Marchand. This game had so much on the line, and both teams were going to leave it all on the ice.

The birthday man (Tuukka Rask) got the start in goal. Other than that, no other lineup changes to mention.

After a scoreless and uneventful first period, the Bruins came out with a jump in their step to begin the second period. Ryan Spooner kicked things off with a power play goal for the visitors. This is what playoff-bound teams do: limit mistakes, pay the price for chances. Good layers abound. All of the above were ingredients to a successful second period for Boston. Spooner, who is actually from Ottawa, scored his second of the game off a hard net drive by Milan Lucic. In between, Loui Eriksson almost undressed Sens defenseman Cody Ceci with an epic goal. With Rask making 21 HUGE saves in the period, the Bruins held a 3-0 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

The Senators played unbelievably well in the third period. They were dominant at both ends of the ice and completely controlled the neutral zone. Matt Puempel beat Rask for his first goal as a Senator to finally get his team on the board. The Bruins only posted four shots on goal in the period, but stingy defense and epic goaltending was enough to preserve the win for Boston. 

Boston now leads the Senators in the division by seven games, a total that seems insurmountable. Spooner is also riding a six-game point streak with three goals and four assists. 

The Bruins will return home on Thursday night for a showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Gold Star: Tuukka Rask...This was a night where the goaltender stole a game for his team. He made 39 saves in a game where the Bruins needed a win against a desperate team. 

Black Star: David Pastrnak...He has to skate on thin ice (pun intended) when he plays for this team. Two minor penalties early on led to a decrease in minutes, proving him ineffective for this one. Plus, everyone else played well on this night.

Game Sixty-Six Box Score 

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