To quote Ian McLaren...
Humor helps me cope with loss. https://t.co/x7xZrlSWH2— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) December 10, 2019
Artem Anisimov, a name that sounds vaguely familiar but not super memorable, opened the scoring with VERY few minutes played with a good backhand shot past Tuukka Rask.
Replay of Anisimov's goal from DeMelo and Chabot pic.twitter.com/4izRsUEq8O— OSNL (@OSNL11) December 10, 2019
Ottawa was able to really push Boston around in the first, with some solid shifts from the B’s top line and not much else. It should be noted that Anders Bjork had some solid rushes, if not much to show for it, but nobody could cycle worth a damn.
With a few minutes left in the first, Anthony DuClair received a pass between the hash marks with NO influence from a Bruins’ stick. Ottawa took the two-to-none lead.
Then, when all already seemed lost for Boston, Brad Marchand protected the puck in the neutral zone, fed David Pastrnak with a short backhand pass across the attacking blue line, and Pasta fed Bergeron all by himself at the far dot.
AND ALL WAS RIGHT AGAIN IN BRUINSLAND. Sorta.
Pasta to Bergeron, hang it in the Louvre pic.twitter.com/9fJzu4iQ0l— ThanksBlinning (@NHLBlinn) December 10, 2019
...then the first ended, so, y’know, we all refilled our drinks.
Not sure what Tuukka Rask was doing on this one. 3-1 Ottawa. pic.twitter.com/5vT4fXP34A— Matt Castle (@Matt_Castle22) December 10, 2019
To be immediately followed by a penalty. MEGA LAME. Boston also got their own PP, but was not successful.
...and not much else. The pace of this period was strong, which is NOT in Boston’s favor. Sure, they’re a skilled, fast team, but if you’re not playing some keep-away, the other team is getting as many rush opportunities as you are. Just a little bit of puck control might’ve gone a long way in this frame.
It did not get
much ANY better. Two PP chances late in the period gave Boston plenty of shot opportunities, but Sens goalie Anders Nilsson was outstanding in seeing indirect shots and Ottawa’s diamond formation covered the bumper player very effectively.
What a difference to start this period; Boston had ended the second on the positive possession-stat trend, and extended it well into the third. Though there were some high-danger, exciting chances, most came from the B’s top line and the rest cycled well, but without getting dangerous.
There were a few minutes of somewhat exciting advantage/disadvantage play, as Boston first was called for a “leg interference” tripping call against Brandon Carlo, followed by a high stick by Thomas Chabot on Charlie McAvoy. A good 1:37 of 4-on-4 play went by without Boston so much as drawing a bead of sweat from Ottawa’s defense. They couldn’t even muster that one available rush with the man advantage for the final 15ish seconds.
Then, with under six minutes to go, they drew ANOTHER penalty. Then, there was ANOTHER minor against Ottawa. So we did it AGAIN. Boston had a minute of power play with Rask pulled for a two-man advantage, and as if there was no one on defense, J-G Pageau skated the puck beyond Krug to pot the empty-net nail.
NO GIF FOR YOU.
A second Bruins goal came more or less surprisingly in short order, and though Boston had all kinds of time and opportunity over the last ninety seconds or so with Rask on the bench, Boston couldn’t muster another tally. In fact, Ottawa notched another empty-netter, ending the game at 5-2, Senators.
This was an especially frustrating effort, maybe moreso than the previous effort against this same Senators team - the 2-1 win on American Thanksgiving. Patrice Bergeron showed no ill effects of his absence, so it wasn’t underperformance or overuse of top players. As usual, the Bruins’ top line was visibly the best skating combination on the ice. In spurts, they were able to make Ottawa scramble for a grasp on which planet they were standing. Beyond that, from the bottom nine forwards, there came shift after shift of poor forecheck that led to sustained control by the Senators. It wasn’t until the third period that Boston managed to shake them a bit and maintain possession, and by then the Senators were already skating with them stride for stride so no wealth of opportunity came from their new-found control.
Not much else to add. Let’s hope they pull a fire out of you-know-where to make sure this stays at a two-game skid. Wednesday and Thursday brings the top team in the East... and Tampa Bay.