Special teams and poor defensive-zone coverage were not in the Bruins’ favor as the team closed out their season series against Ottawa and dropped their third consecutive game.
Despite leading 2-0 after the first period on two net-front goals from Marc McLaughlin and Jesper Froden, - his first NHL goal - the Bruins lost control of the game in the middle frame.
The B’s had a good offensive start to the game, but although they were up two goals on the Senators, the first period was plagued by some big defensive breakdowns that Linus Ullmark had to bail his defense out of.
Early in the period, Ullmark took a shot to the head and play stopped as the referees checked on him. He felt ok to finish the period, but Ullmark did not return for the second.
Jeremy Swayman entered the game and 47 seconds into the middle frame, Brady Tkachuk took a hard-angled shot from the goal line that found its way in.
And that’s when the fun began for the Bruins.
The Bruins moments later found themselves on their first of four penalties in the second period. The first call - a too many men on the ice penalty, which wouldn’t be the bench’s last of the night.
They killed that one off, but the next series of penalties led to a 5-on-3 where the Senators scored twice. Josh Norris added the first power-play goal while Tim Stutzle scored 57 seconds later.
The Bruins’ penalty kill struggled, as the Senators were able to execute their plays and actually hit the net. While the Senators’ power play capitalized on 2 out of 6 opportunities, the Bruins went 0 for 5 during their man-advantages.
The man-advantage is missing it’s key component - David Pastrnak - but special teams weren’t able to get quality shots off that were on net. Many of their attempts went wide or if they were on net, no one was in the slot to pick up the second effort. The power play also gave away shorthanded chances.
The B’s offense in the third period ramped up. If there was a silver lining in the game, it would be the effort of McLaughlin’s line. They played the game to their strengths, were strong on the puck in the o-zone and along the boards and even had one of the better chances to tie the game on an attempt by Nick Foligno and Curtis Lazar.
Although the Bruins outshot the Senators 18-9 in the third, the finish was still not there and rebounds were left in the slot. It also didn’t help that the team took another too many men on the ice penalty in the final minutes.
Final score: 3-2 Senators.
The Bruins close out their homestand on Saturday April 16 at 12:30 pm against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here is a look at the goals by period:
The Bruins opened the scoring at 6:36 of the first period.
Foligno battled for the puck behind the net to get it free to take a hard-angled shot from the low left-circle. At the top of the paint, McLaughlin deflected the shot past Anton Forsberg’s glove. 1-0 Bruins.
The Bruins extended their lead at 19:01 of the first period.
Matt Grzelcyk fired a blast from the left point that Froden got his stick on and redirected top-shelf past Forsberg’s glove. 2-0 Bruins.
Jesper Froden tips home Matt Grzelcyk's shot for his first career NHL goal.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 14, 2022
2-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/6iKy9nHZk9
The Senators cut into their deficit 47 seconds into the second period.
Off the rush, Tkachuk won a puck battle behind the net to pass it to Stutzle at the goal line for a quick shot. The shot came out to Tkachuk where also along the goal line, he threw a hard-angled shot on net that traveled past Swayman. 2-1 game.
The Senators tied the game at 9:30 of the second period on a 5-on-3 power play.
Drake Batherson found Norris in the right-wing circle where he blasted a one-timer top-shelf over Swayman’s blocker shoulder. 2-2 game.
The Senators took the lead at 10:27 of the second period on the power play.
As Batherson tipped the puck to the paint to keep the play alive from Tkachuk’s attempt, Stutzle found the loose puck in the slot. With Swayman on the ice, he put one past him to give the Sens the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner. Final score: 3-2 Senators.