In a game riddled by penalties and power plays on both sides, the Bruins found themselves shorthanded six times in the 60-minute span.
Special teams killed off six penalties, including a 5-on-3, and matching penalties gave way to 4-on-4s Improving on Saturday’s loss in which they gave up two power-play goals, the PK cleared the zone better and limited scoring chances.
“I liked our compete level on the puck,” Bruce Cassidy said. “We didn’t allow them easy set-up time. For the most part, we limited the danger shots.
“If you get the clear when you’re tired and you stick to your structure when you’re fatigued, I thought we did a good job with denying entry so we could get fresh legs out there,” Cassidy said.
The Bruins usually have a slower middle game than first 20 minutes, but tonight the B’s had a rough start.
The Senators took an early lead at 1:14 of the first period.
Taylor Hall turned the puck over which Brady Tkachuk picked up and got a shot off on Jeremy Swayman who made the initial save. Tkachuk collected the rebound to find Zach Sanford in the slot for a quick shot past Swayman. 1-0 Senators.
Besides trailing right away, a few penalty kills found the Bruins having to play a more defensive game off the bat.
If your first name was Charlie, you either drew or were at fault of a penalty for the Bruins in the first period. In the opening three minutes, the Bruins found themselves shorthanded which didn’t help build any real offensive momentum. Later Charlie Coyle drew a penalty, but what started as a power play for the Bruins, ended as a 5-on-3 kill as McAvoy and Coyle subsequently ended up in the box.
Overall, the Bruins’ first period was subpar. Although they outshot the Senators 14-11 in the frame, the offense couldn’t finish. Coyle’s line had some good chances with help from Mike Reilly and cycling down low, but again, opportunities weren’t completed.
The Bruins played with a sense of urgency in the middle frame and had better offensive zone coverage. But first they needed to kill yet again another penalty assessed six seconds into the period.
Although calls were slanted against the Bruins, the team did have three power plays and capitalized on their second of the night.
The Bruins tied the game at 5:12 of the second period on the power play.
David Pastrnak received a pass from McAvoy and his shot on net deflected off Brad Marchand and past Matt Murray glove side. 1-1 tie game.
The Bruins took the lead at 10:58 of the second period.
Coyle left a pass at the blue line for Derek Forbort who skated down low with the puck and once inside the left-wing circle, fired off a wrist shot far-side past Murray’s glove. 2-1 Bruins.
That goal was earned by an all-round solid effort from Coyle’s line and the defense. The line spent quality time in the offensive zone and Coyle had his own chance to put the Bruins ahead on the same shift.
The Senators tied the game at 13:09 of the second period.
Nikita Zaitsev collected the puck along the boards off a shot from Tyler Ennis. From the outside right hashmarks, Zaitsev threw a wrist shot on net that trickle past Swayman. 2-2 tie game.
Murray came up with a HUGE paddle save to rob Pastrnak of a goal towards the end of the period.
The Bruins retook the lead at 18:40 of the second period on a 4-on-4.
Pastrnak’s pass to Patrice Bergeron hit a broken stick, but Bergeron collected the bouncing pass from his skates then put a wrist shot past Murray’s blocker. 3-2 Bruins.
Many thanks to the broken twig. pic.twitter.com/xxj7Dls53T— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 10, 2021
Going along with the theme of the night, the Bruins had two more calls against them in the third period.
Whether the tilt was justified or they were on the wrong end of the calls, Cassidy said this is an issue that needs to be addressed in the locker room.
Ottawa pulled Murray for the extra attacker in the final minutes, but even with the empty net, Pastrnak just missed the chance to add some cushion.
The Senators outshot the Bruins in the third by three shots, but the PK’s ability to limit Ottawa to the outside perimeter and Swayman’s glove kept the Bruins with the one-goal lead.
The third period remained scoreless, as the Bruins’ held off Ottawa’s more evenly played period to come away with the 3-2 win.
The Bruins are back in action Thursday November 11 for a 7pm game against the Edmonton Oilers.