Bruins Beaten by Ottawa in Season Finale, 4-2

The Boston Bruins fell to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2, in their regular season finale Sunday Night at TD Garden.  It was a game in which Boston battled back, coming from two goals down, tying things up in the final period. Unfortunately it was all for not as the Bruins end up coasting to the finish line, winning just three of their final ten contests. Though Boston has shown many encouraging signs in recent games, improving upon areas of their play that had been problematic before.

Due to the Black-and-Gold’s regulation defeat, Montreal was awarded the Northeast Division title and the second overall seed in the Eastern Conference standings heading into post-season hockey. The B’s settle for a second place finish in the Northeast and the fourth overall position in the East. Statistics, wins, and losses aside, the Bruins achieved their ultimate goal of making the playoffs.

As for the Senators, well, they avoided a dreaded opening round matchup with Pittsburgh. Instead they get to face Montreal and according to Daniel Alfredsson, it’s who he’s always wanted in the playoffs. Ottawa capped off a very successful regular season, finishing one place higher than last season’s eighth place.

Team Records

Boston Bruins: 28-14-6     Ottawa Senators: 25-17-6

Game Story

The B’s and Sens went full tilt at one another for sixty minutes without backing down. It felt like a playoff game more than anything. The crowd was boisterous and the events unfolding on the ice were as well. The majority of the first period was a feeling out process as both sides attempted to establish their game.

The score remained 0-0 until Eric Condra beat Tuukka Rask on a rebound goal at 16:59 of the first period. Milan Lucic wasted little time in getting his team fired up. Less than two minutes after Condra’s goal, Lucic dropped the gloves with Ottawa’s tough guy Chris Neil. Boston’s enforcer landed a flurry of brutal rights while taking a fair share in return. The Bruins bench was energized, up and beating on the side wall as number seventeen headed for the dressing room. Momentum was on the side of the B’s as period one came to a close.

To Boston’s dismay, Jared Cowen doubled the Sens lead, blasting a one timer from the point past Rask at 10:33 of the second period. Kaspars Daugavins snapped his stick in two on the play, resulting in a de facto 5-on-3 for Ottawa. They keyed in on him and exploited his weakness. The Garden crowd stayed behind their hometown boys, doing their best to will the B’s to victory.

Rich Peverley got the Bruins on the board in the closing seconds of the second frame, cutting Ottawa’s two-goal advantage to only one. It was Wade Redden doing the dirty work in setting up Peverley for an easy goal. On the power play, Redden rushed the puck through the neutral zone and down the far sideboards into the Sens end. He than made a tape-to-tape pass, aware he was going to get demolished with head on check and Pevs rewarded him for his commendable effort.

Of all people, Dennis Seidenberg rifled a slapper under the bar and past Robin Lehner to begin the third period. His second goal of the week tied the score at 2-2. Worth noting Milan Lucic recorded an assist on the goal. The Sens closed the tilt off strong, avoiding a season series sweep, getting goals from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Turris in the waning minutes.

What Went Right

The Bruins played with a great deal of emotion and heart. Milan Lucic’s scrap provided the B’s with a swift kick in the derrière and a needed jolt. Boston did not call it quits after falling into a 2-0 hole. Instead they scratched and clawed their way back into the game. That fact alone is reassuring because without a doubt the B’s will at some point be faced with a similar situation this post season. They also took part in a fair share of post whistle mix-ups.

Milan Lucic continues to produce and the offense continues to get balanced scoring. Besides his fight, Lucic also recorded an assist, giving him three points in his last two outings. With Rich Peverley and Dennis Seidenberg scoring, Boston maintains steady production from its secondary options.

Penalty kill bounced back from a dismal performance in Washington. The Bruins PK unit went 3-for-3 after allowing three daggers against the Caps.

Power play scored!

What Went Wrong

Can’t cash in on an abundance of scoring chances. Boston recorded 36 shots on goal, yet only found the net twice. Several shots went high, wide, or off the side of the net and high glass. That will not cut it in the playoffs. The Bruins need to capitalize, especially when they are working hard in getting pucks and bodies to the net.

Ten giveaways are still too much. The Bruins have been fluctuating in the amount of times they turn the puck over. Fortunately those counter rushes didn’t amount to a whole lot. In the future the B’s won’t be so lucky.

Failed to take the game after fighting back. The killer instinct has been lacking in the most crucial of moments. If Boston hopes to replicate its 2011 run they must find that and quickly.

Player of the Game

Dennis Seidenberg: 1 goal, 1 assist, 23:07 TOI

Who’s Next?

An Easter Conference Quarter Finals matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs is on tap to begin Wednesday. The series will mark the first time these two Original Six clubs have met in the playoffs since 1974.

Frank O’Laughlin – NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports

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