Dennis Seidenberg sure did pick a good time to score his first goal of the season
Thirty games into the abbreviated NHL season, the Bruins defenseman lined a wicked slapshot past Ottawa goal tender Robin Lehner with a mere minute and change left in regulation for the game winner as the Bruins beat the Senators 2-1 at the ScotiaBank Arena in Ottawa on Thursday evening.
Daniel Paille netted his sixth of the season to answer Kaspar Daugavins’ first of the season for the Senators who lost for the first time in four games and dropped to 16-9-6. The Bruins have won three straight in Ottawa this season and improved to 20-6-3 and trail the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins by 3 points.
Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin stopped 27 of 28 shots, many of them in spectacular, sprawling fashion while Lehner stopped 27 shots as well, but allowed Seidenberg’s drive in the waning seconds to spoil an equally impressive night in goal.
After a scoreless and relatively uneventful opening stanza, Daugavins took a pass along the boards from Mika Zibanejad and snapped a long range wrister over Khudobin’s shoulder from a tough angle on the outer left circle to take a 1-0 lead which got the capacity crowd out of their seats, sensing that this might be their night…
…until Daniel Paille snapped one past Lehner from the face off spot in the right circle, taking a Johnny Boychuck feed and weaving into a clear firing position to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the final frame.
The game appeared to be destined for overtime as both goalies were making incredible saves after being left on an island by sloppy defense on both sides, Seidenberg finally burned Lehner. Patrice Bergeron won a face off in the right circle, the puck sliding right to Zdeno Chara just inside the blue line who tapped the pass into Seidenberg’s wheelhouse – the puck elevating through traffic and finding the back of the Ottawa net.
The Senators now enjoy a week of no travel, hosting Tampa Bay on Saturday, New Jersey on Monday, the Rangers on Thursday and Toronto next Saturday while the Bruins head to Toronto for the first game of a hone and home series against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night, returning home to host the Leafs on Monday – the big rematch with the hated Montreal Canadiens looming on Wednesday…
…and thank the Hockey Gods for that. Ever since blowing a third period lead against the Canadiens back on March 2nd, the Bruins have turned in inconsistent efforts – almost as if losing in that fashion to their most hated rival immediately set forth a target date for revenge…and now that it’s on the horizon the Bruins have the opportunity to get that monkey off their backs and get back to the business of dominating teams with bruising defense and, hopefully, finding their dormant offense.