The Bruins made the trip up to the Great White North looking to move into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division, but failed do so against fellow division opponent Ottawa. With two games in hand on the Bruins, the second place Senators built a four point lead in the Atlantic Division standings over the third place Bruins. The Bruins needed this one badly to try distance themselves from the playoff line and build a comfortable lead with just 16 games left in the regular season.
The Bruins did not do themselves any favors by giving up two goals in the first 3:25 of the opening period, with goals from Derick Brassard and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Patrice Bergeron would cut the lead in half late in the first period by netting his 17th goal of the season. Tuukka Rask and the Bruins would settle down in a scoreless second period, but came back to earth in a disappointing third. The Senators took advantage of a David Pastrnak high sticking penalty with a power play goal from Mike Hoffman. The Bruins answered with a power play goal from their own just over a minute later from Brad Marchand. Unfortunately the Bruins could not tie the game despite generating decent scoring opportunities in the latter half of the third period. Ottawa would seal the deal with an empty netter from Bruins fan favorite Alex Burrows. The Bruins fell to 8-3-0 in the Bruce Cassidy era, and are still sitting third in the Atlantic Division with 74 points. The Bruins return home Wednesday for another divisional match up against the Red Wings.
Some quick thoughts and notes to take away from tonight’s game:
*Brad Marchand scored his 30th goal of the season making this his second consecutive 30 goal season. This also puts him tied for 5th place in goals scored for the season and only four back from league leader Sidney Crosby.
*This Bruins team has been battling back a lot from deficits lately, despite the loss tonight they have been playing with their heads up and finding ways to get back into every game since the coaching change. This team has been lacking balls the past two seasons. Let’s hope this finally translates into a playoff appearance.
*The B’s and Sens still have two more meetings in the regular season with both match ups in Boston. One of those games comes in the final week of regular season. This time it would be more ideal for the Bruins to be playing for playoff position rather than for their playoff lives for a third straight year. It’s also worth pointing out that the Bruins and Sens are a potential first round match up. These final two regular season meetings just became very crucial for home ice advantage if the rest of the eastern conference standings remain the same from here on out.
FINAL: Senators 4 – Bruins 2