EDMONTON – (Wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Former Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference officially announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the NHL. He retired as a member of the Edmonton Oilers where he spent the last four seasons with the Oilers and served as the team’s captain from 2013-15. The 38-year-old Alberta native recorded six goals, 26 assists and 108 penalty minutes in 147 career games with Edmonton.
Ference played just six games in 2015-16 before undergoing season-ending hip surgery, and he did not play any games for the Oilers this past season..
“As I graduate from my time of playing in the NHL, I realize I have the problem of being unable to properly thank the hundreds of people who have helped me achieve my goal of playing in the best league in the world,” the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Ference said. “No one gets here on their own, especially average-sized guys with average skills. If you think you deserve a thank you from me, you probably do. … Thanks!
“My girls, Ava and Stella, and my wife, Krista, however do deserve a proper thanks and my infinite gratitude. They tended my broken bones and bruised ego more times than I can count and gave me unending love and support even when I missed a Christmas concert for a road trip.”
Ference accumulated 225 points (43 goals, 182 assists) and 753 penalty minutes in 907 career contests with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins and Oilers. He was selected by Pittsburgh in the eighth round of the 1997 NHL draft.
“Lastly, thank you to Pittsburgh, Calgary … Boston and Edmonton,” Ference said. “Your love of our sport provided me with an incredible stage to play on and your cities will always feel like home to me. Hockey fans really are amazing!
Clarke MacArthur Scores Series Winner in Overtime
BOSTON — Clarke MacArthur was on his way to retirement, having moved to Florida thinking his playing days were gone because of concussions.
Suddenly, he started feeling better. Sunday, the 32-year-old winger scored a power-play goal 6:30 into overtime to give Ottawa a 3-2 Game 6 victory over the Boston Bruins that sent the Senators into the second round.
Senators Still in Session; Defeat Bruins in OT
“There’s nothing like living in the NHL and living in these playoffs,” MacArthur said after his second goal of the series sent his team into the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Rangers. “It’s something (retirement) everyone’s going to have to deal with one day, but I want to stretch it out as long as I can, obviously.”
MacArthur, who returned for four regular-season games and earlier in the series celebrated his comeback with his first goal in two years, sent a Bobby Ryan rebound past Tuukka Rask for the winner.
“You get opportunities like that to put them away, you’ve got to put them away,” MacArthur said. “It’s just awesome that we were able to.”
All six games of the series were decided by one goal, four in overtime, and Sunday marked the Senators’ sixth straight win at TD Garden. Ottawa won eight of 10 games against Boston this season and all were close.
Craig Anderson made 28 saves for Sunday’s deciding win.
Ryan and Kyle Turris also scored for the Senators. Ryan scored his fourth goal in the six games, his fifth in the last seven dating back to the regular season finale, when he broke a 13-game goal drought.
Erik Karlsson, who had been held in check by the Bruins in Games 5 and 6, turned it on and was everywhere in the overtime — his rush down the right side ending when David Pastrnak pulled MacArthur down leading to the Ottawa win.
“My first experience (in the playoffs), I ended up in the box on the last game of the season,” Pastrnak said.
After the game, Karlsson revealed he played the entire series with two hairline fractures in his left heel.
Karlsson, the Ottawa captain, sang MacArthur’s praises, saying, “Very well-deserved I think. Being gone for as long as he had, stepping in late in the season, and playing the way that he is. It just shows what a good character guy he is, how much he wants to be a player and be a good player for this club.”
MacArthur said Sunday’s win helped erase “some nightmares” he experienced when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 4-1 lead and lost a Game 7 to the Bruins in 2013.
“It’s nice to be on the other side,” he said.
Drew Stafford and Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, with Brad Marchand assisting on both goals. Marchand, who has scored 76 goals in the last two seasons, scored just one in the series and has one in his last 26 playoff games.
“We battled hard,” said Rask, who made 26 saves. “Ever since after the coaching change, we really came together as a group. We got in the playoffs and then played a heck of a series. I think every game was a one-goal game, so it was a hard-fought series and just didn’t go out way. I think everybody here should be proud the way we battled.”
Bruce Cassidy took over for the fired Claude Julien on Feb. 7 and coached the Bruins into the playoffs with an 18-8-1 record while carrying the interim label, was asked after the game if he wants to return.
“Absolutely — one hundred percent,” he said.
The Bruins scored their first first-period goal — also scoring first for the first time in the series — when Stafford converted on a power-play slapper with 1:47 left in the period.
The Senators struck twice in the second period.
Even though they had fewer regular season points than New York, The Senators will have home ice advantage by virtue of finishing second in the Atlanta Division while the Rangers are a wild card.
The Sens went 2-1 against the Rangers this season.
NOTES: According to STATS, Inc., the three delay-of-game penalties on the Bruins marked the first time since 1989-90 a team did it three times in a first period, the fourth time it was done in any period. The Pittsburgh Penguins had three in a span of 2:02 in the third period of a playoff game last season. … Bruins C David Krejci was out with a lower-body injury sustained in Game 5. He was limited to only two full games in the series. LW Matt Beleskey was back in for his third game in the series. … D Chris Wideman, who injured Krejci in a collision, was also injured but was listed as a healthy scratch. D Fredrik Claesson dressed for the second time in the series. … Ottawa LW Viktor Stalberg, a game-time decision after the skate, dressed, as did Tommy Wingels, in for his second game. LW Tom Pyatt and D Mark Borowiecki remained out with injuries
Where: TD Garden, Boston
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa
OTTAWA — Rookie Sean Kuraly was re-inserted into the Boston Bruins lineup on Friday because, in the words of coach Bruce Cassidy, “He’s good at getting on pucks.” As it turns out, he’s also pretty good at putting them in the net in clutch situations. Kuraly scored twice in Friday’s 3-2 double overtime victory, including the winner, to lift the Bruins back into their opening round best-of-seven with the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Senators lead the series 3-2 with the venue switching to Boston for Game 6 on Sunday afternoon.
Kuraly, who has played just eight regular season games and was suited up for only his third in the playoffs, scored the deciding goal at 10:19 of the second extra session. He said a lot of good plays preceded his shot into a wide-open cage.
“I was just at the tail end of it,” Kuraly said. “The puck went onto my stick and I passed it into the back of the net. It was four by six. Those are the good ones. You don’t get many of those, but hey, it bounced on my stick tonight and happy that it did.”
Kuraly also scored the tying goal at 17:05 of the second period as the Bruins completed their rally from a 2-0 deficit. It was the first of his career for Kuraly, a 24-year old former fifth round pick who previously had only one assist on his NHL resume.
“You work a long time to do that,” said Kuraly. “For it to go in felt good.”
David Pastrnak had the other Boston goal while Mark Stone and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators.
Tuukka Rask made 41 stops for the Bruins while Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots in the Ottawa net.
“It’s one of those things where Tuukka made some good saves, kept their team in it, let themselves battle back in,” said Anderson. “It’s just kind of the way the game went.
“We’re still one game away. That’s all it is. One game away, and one win. So put it behind you, go forward. Can’t do much about it now. So, don’t dwell on it. Move forward for the next one.”
The Senators had two power plays in the final 5:08 of regulation time but couldn’t capitalize. They ended the night 0-for-5 with the man-advantage against a Bruins team that has the No. 1 ranked penalty killing unit during the regular season.
“We were fortunate our kill came through big time and we were able to regroup from that,” said Cassidy, whose team lost center David Krejci when he was injured by a Chris Wideman hit in the first period. “Both sides had their chances and tonight it went our way. That’s it in a nutshell.
“I thought we hung in there through some injuries, some things that didn’t go our way, we thought we might have scored earlier, and we just kept playing and we were able to get one.”
The Bruins looked to have the game won with 5:35 left in the first overtime, when Kuraly broke in down the left wing and fired a shot that Anderson stopped before the loose puck was put into the net by Noel Acciari. After a review, the goal was wiped out when it was ruled Kuraly was guilty of goalie interference.
Less than a minute later, the Bruins had another close call around the Ottawa net, but Pageau pulled the pick off the line.
“We needed to take advantage of that,” said Pageau. “It’s too late now. I think we’ve just got to turn the page and focus on the next (game).”
Kuraly, who played the first two games of the series at Canadian Tire Centre, replaced center Ryan Spooner, an Ottawa native. The move was a gutsy one by Cassidy, who is also from Ottawa.
Spooner had two assists in the first four games.
“We liked (Kuraly) but we just put some guys ahead of him that had been here all year,” said Cassidy. “One door closes and another one opens. He kind of took advantage of his opportunities. He started at the bottom of the lineup. Tonight, we just needed him more and he had the energy. This is a good series for him because it’s a forechecking series and that’s one of his strengths.”
All five games of the series have been decided by one goal, including three in overtime. In other words, it’s playing out just as everyone expected.
“Right now, it definitely stings,” Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf said of the loss. “They’re emotional games. We expected a hard fought, long, grinding, grueling series, and that’s what we’ve got.
“I don’t know how to explain it any better than, they’re pushing, we’re pushing and it goes to double overtime, anything can happen. It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to move on. We expected a battle and we’ve got one.”
NOTES: Ottawa lost F Viktor Stalberg to injury after he had played more than 16 minutes. Stalberg is listed as day-to-day. … Senators C Chris Kelly played his first game of the series, replacing injured LW Tom Pyatt. Kelly played six seasons with the Bruins, and was a member of their 2011 Stanley Cup winning team, before re-signing with Ottawa in the offseason. He played all 82 regular season games for the Senators … Senators G Craig Anderson had a shutout stretch of 100 minutes, 32 seconds before David Pastrnak’s goal.
Where: TD Garden, Boston
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts