By Claire Mountcastle
On December 9, 2019, the Boston Bruins played their first road game after a five game home-stand.
Patrice Bergeron made his first appearance in several games due to injury.
Within the first two minutes of the game, the Senators scored. The Bruins were incredibly sloppy and did not do Tuukka Rask any favors. After the goal, the Bruins continued to have issues establishing offensive zone time. The dump and chase technique was not working. David Pastrnak was able to notch a decent chance with more than 16 minutes to go, but it was blocked and cleared down the ice.
The next few minutes of play was very back and forth. Neither team was able to set up. With a little more than 9 minutes to go, the Senators were awarded a breakaway with a second shot. Fortunately, Rask was clutch in ensuring the deficit didn’t get out of hand early. Rask had to come up big a couple of times in the first period as the Bruins defense was letting him down. With a little more than 5 minutes to go, the Bruins had a couple of great scoring chances from Danton Heinen and John Moore. Sadly, neither of them were able to capitalize.
With less than 5 minutes to go in the first period, Anthony Duclair scored to put Ottawa up by 2. Almost immediately after the Senators scored, the Bruins pushed back and Bergeron scored the first of the night for the Boston. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak earned the assists. The Bruins were able to establish 29 consecutive seconds of zone time with a little more than a minute left in the first.
“There’s parts of our game that need to be rectified,” Patrice Bergeron shared. “There’s good things as well. It’s all about finding the balance. This was a bump on the road and it will be good for our team.”
Only a minute into the second, Chris Tierney scored to put the Senators up by 2 once again. With less than 2 minutes expired in the second period, Charlie Coyle was whistled for tripping. On the penalty kill, Ottawa was able to earn a few quality scoring chances. Bergeron almost scored a short handed goal on a two-on-one, but the Senators goalie made the save. Luckily, the Bruins were able to kill the penalty. Right after Coyle exited the box, Vladislav Namestnikov was called for tripping. Boston had several great looks early on in the man advantage. Passing was crisp and they were able to set up plays with quality scoring chances. During the power play, the Bruins established more than a minute of consecutive zone time. Unfortunately, the Senators made the kill.
“When I play, I want to give us a chance to get the lead,” Tuukka Rask told the media. “We battled back but sometimes you fight fire with fire. Playing catch up doesn’t help.”
The play was back and forth for a while with each team giving a triumphant effort. With less than 5 minutes to go in the second, Dylan DeMelo was penalized for tripping Marchand. The power play was incredibly strong. The Bruins posted several good chances with 3 shots by Bergeron. The Senators, once again, killed it off and went into the second intermission with a 2 goal lead.
The third period started out fast paced and hot. Both teams were able to establish zone time and create opportunities. With more than 10 minutes left in the game, Brandon Carlo was whistled for tripping. The Bruins penalty kill quickly got to work and Charlie McAvoy was able to draw a high sticking penalty just a minute later. With more than 5 minutes to go, Pastrnak went to the box for tripping. The Bruins did a nice job clearing the puck and using their bodies, and after a minute of penalty time expired, Colin White was called for tripping. The 4-on-4 was dominated by Boston for the most part. With less than 3 minutes to go, Ottawa scored on a shorthanded breakaway to go up 4-1. The Bruins struck right back with a goal by Jake Debrusk, and subsequently were able to establish more than 45 seconds of zone time and some great looks, but at that point it didn’t really matter.
Boston is now on a 3 game losing streak and need to change things before continuing this road trip. To rub salt in the wound, the Senators scored a second empty netter with less than a second left in the game.
“If you’re not competing hard on the puck, you’re not gonna beat anybody in this league.” Head coach, Bruce Cassidy, shared after the game.