The Bruins won their sixth straight away from TD Garden, pulling out a 1-0 win in Ottawa tonight. Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for the shutout, and Nathan Horton scored the game's lone goal.
The teams began with a lackluster, if penalty-free first period. Rask was the star of the first, with a number of quality saves, as the Bruin defense was lackluster at times, and downright poor on others. Tomas Kaberle in particular had one bad giveaway when he lost the puck at the offensive blue line, leading to a good scoring chance. At the other end, Boston's best chance came and went when Colin Greening robbed Patrice Bergeron of a sure goal after an Ottawa defenseman fell and gave it up to Brad Marchand.
The second period began much as the first did, with the Senators having a prolonged chance as the Bruins had some problems clearing the zone, but the Bruins did a better job with their shot blocking than their puck movement. There was an exciting moment in the 6th minute, as Derek Smith robbed Mark Recchi on a sure goal, and then on the comeback, Jason Spezza was stoned by Rask on a breakaway.
The Bruins seemed to improve as the period went on. A Jason Spezza tripping penalty led to a power play, during which Anderson made a couple of great saves, including a Tim Thomas-like jump from right to left to stop a Zdeno Chara slapper. The new-look power play looked good, but couldn't capitalize. With a minute left in the period, the Bruins caught a break when Spezza had an open net with Rask out of position, and then less than a minute later, Bobby Butler rang the post. Ultimately, the second period ended just as the first did, with a scoreless tie.
The Bruins opened the third period the right way, however, with Nathan Horton scoring at 1:43 of the period. Bergeron did a great job keeping possession in the Ottawa zone, kicked it out to Adam McQuaid, who put it on net, and Horton scrapped his way to the rebound and knocked it in. Ottawa had a power play when Gregory Campbell was called for charging, but the power play came and went uneventfully, though Rask was called on to make a couple great saves soon after. Horton almost had a second on a power play in the 9th minute when he tipped a Dennis Seidenberg shot off the post. This was, unofficially, the 743rd post that Horton has hit on the season.
The Senators had a good chance to tie, when Marchand went to the box with 4 to go. However, Bergeron and Campbell did a great job of penalty killing and no harm was done. Ottawa had a flurry with Anderson on the bench, with Butler putting another shot just inches wide, but Rask finished off the shutout.
- The Bruins won 6 straight on the road for the first time since 1972. You may recall that being a pretty good year in Bruin history.
- Opposing teams have scored five times with Marchand in the box, the highest of any Bruin. So, either Marchand is taking too many penalties, or he's by far Boston's best penalty killer...maybe both.
- The Bruins were outshot 33-21, but the teams were dead-even on penalty minutes (4 each), giveaways (6 each) and faceoff wins (20).
- Adam McQuaid led the team in blocked shots, with 4, with Dikembe Seidenberg right behind with 3.
- I know that the Bruins didn't really expect Kaberle to be a penalty killer, but he and Steven Kampfer had 0 minutes on the penalty kill. With the small number of penalty minutes in this game, that's not a big deal, but it's always surprising to see a defenseman have no penalty kill time.
- On the flip side, Chara and Seidenberg were workhorses, as Chara had 23:43 in ice time, and Seidenberg was just 3 seconds behind him.
- Andrew Ference continues to be out with a "lower body" injury.
- The Bruins will return home to a hero's welcome Thursday night against the Lightning. We'll have a preview this time. Promise.
- For more on this one from another perspective, head over to visit our friends at Silver Seven Sens.