The Boston Bruins found answers to their slow start after 20
minutes, while the Ottawa Senators were left questioning their lack
of effort over the final 40.
The Bruins and Senators now head north to conclude a
home-and-home set Saturday night in Ottawa.
On the heels of a 5-0 thumping of Pittsburgh on Monday, Ottawa
(15-18-7) showed plenty of jump in the first period at Boston on
Friday night, outshooting the reigning Eastern Conference champions
15-5 but failing to beat Tuukka Rask in a scoreless first
The Bruins (26-10-2) then responded as champions do – by taking
over the game.
Jarome Iginla netted a power-play goal late in the second to
snap the scoreless deadlock, and Reilly Smith had two of the team’s
four third-period goals to complete a 5-0 romp, giving the Bruins
eighth straight home wins and extending their point streak there to
15 games (13-0-2).
Smith, who came over from Dallas in the offseason as part of the
Tyler Seguin deal, has five goals and two assists in his last three
games and leads the team with 14 goals.
“I don’t think he was looked upon as a throw-in,” Bruins coach
Claude Julien said of the 22-year-old Smith. “It is the first time
he has been given the opportunity to play on a regular basis, and
he is finally showcasing his skills. It’s no fluke.”
Reilly, who has six goals and nine assists in 17 road games, was
held off the scoresheet in Boston’s 4-2 loss at Ottawa on Nov.
Rask, who finished with 33 saves, improved to 5-2-0 with two
shutouts and a 1.84 goals-against average versus Ottawa.
For the Senators (15-18-7), their rollercoaster season of
inconsistency continued as they absorbed their second five-goal
loss this season. Ottawa, which has won consecutive games only
twice, has dropped five of seven overall (1-5-1) and will try to
regroup and win back-to-back home games for the first time since
Dec. 9 and 12.
“They’ll do the same thing to us tomorrow if we play the same
way,” center and captain Jason Spezza said. “We better bring a
better effort, they’re an elite team.
“The last two periods we gave them all their chances, so we get
too passive in the second two periods and make mistakes and give
them chances and that’s been the calling card of our team all
It’s likely Craig Anderson – who turned aside 27 shots in
Monday’s win over the Penguins – will be back in net after Lehner
faced 37 shots over the final two periods. Anderson had 32 saves in
last month’s win over the Bruins, ending a personal five-game
losing streak to them and improving to 4-8-0 lifetime.
Despite having one goal and six assists in his last five games,
defenseman Erik Karlsson has a minus-4 rating in that span.
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will not make the trip with
the team after suffering a lower-body injury in Friday night’s