Ottawa 3, Boston 2
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
BOSTON – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – A weekend failure in a home-and-home series with the Montreal Canadiens made Tuesday night’s game in Boston even bigger for the Ottawa Senators. Given a day away from the rink on Monday, the Senators came through and benefitted the most as the playoffs near.
Craig Anderson (41)
“We were struggling coming in and we wanted to kind of right the ship,” Kyle Turris said after his second goal of the game was the winner in the third period as Ottawa ended a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Bruins.
Craig Anderson made 34 saves, and the Senators, who earned just one of a possible four points against Montreal, failed to hold a pair of one-goal leads before Turris deflected a Dion Phaneuf shot past Tuukka Rask 4:04 into the third period for the winner.
“Yesterday was a good reset day — just doing nothing,” Anderson said of the off day, in Boston. “Getting away from the game a little bit and focusing on tonight.”
The win, the Senators’ fifth straight over the Bruins (three this season), moved Ottawa six points ahead of Boston, which lost its third straight, for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Sens also moved to three points behind the Canadiens for the top spot, with a game in hand and one game left against the Habs.
“We hold our own destiny. We’re holding all the cards,” said Anderson. “It depends on how we play is where we’re going to finish.”
After Dominic Moore went off for slashing at 1:28, the Bruins killed the penalty, but couldn’t get the puck out of their zone. Turris then scored his 25th of the season and capped his first two-goal game since opening night.
“I think these are pressure games and we want it to be a pressure game. We wanted to see this as a seventh game because we want to be able to manage pressure,” said Ottawa coach Guy Boucher. “We’ve got a lot of young guys in there and a lot of guys who haven’t gone to the playoffs in the NHL and a lot of pressure moments.”
“It’s important that we grow.”
The loss left the Bruins just one point ahead of the idle Toronto Maple Leafs, who have two games in hand on Boston and defeated the Bruins Monday night. The idle New York Islanders trail the Bruins by four points for a wild card and have two games in hand. The teams play Saturday in New York.
The Bruins, just 5-5 in their last 10 games, have failed to make the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
“There’s a lot of guys in that room who weren’t here last year, myself included,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy, now 12-6 since replacing the fired Claude Julien. “We’d like to write our own story.”
Tom Pyatt also scored against Rask, who made 19 saves.
“You gotta start the winning streak somehow, at some point,” Rask said. “It’s been like that throughout the season where you deserve more than you get, but you have to stay with it.”
David Krejci and Torey Krug scored for the Bruins, who got both goals on the power play.
Pyatt’s goal opened the scoring in the first period. It came off a Cody Ceci shot and appeared to hit Pyatt and then Bruins defenseman Colin Miller before getting by Rask. Pyatt scored for the second straight game after going 30 games without a goal.
Krejci tied it at 1 with a power-play one-timer and Turris scored a similar power play goal 1:34 into the second period.
Phaneuf took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the second period, and Krug walked through the three Ottawa players during a 4-on-3 and tied the game at 2 just 17 seconds into the final period.
“We bounced back and we played the right way after that,” said Anderson, 22-9-2 on the season. “Give credit to Mr. Krug there. He made a great play beating two guys and then going upstairs.
NOTES: RW Mark Stone, one of three Ottawa forwards out, missed his sixth straight game with a leg injury but has started skating. “He’s skating and he’s getting better every day,” coach Guy Boucher said Tuesday morning. … C Chris Kelly, a former Bruin who won the Stanley Cup with the team in 2011, made his first appearance on TD Garden ice since suffering a broken leg Nov. 3, 2015, and was given a video tribute in the first period. … Bruins LW Tim Schaller missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. … Sens G Craig Anderson appeared in his 499th NHL game. … Bruins D Torey Krug notched his career-high 41st assist in Boston’s first goal. … The Senators host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, but then play the next five on the road and have just three home games remaining. … The Bruins host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and visit the New York Islanders on Saturday, both games having playoff implications.