The Bruins dropped a close game in Ottawa Saturday, falling to the Senators by a 2-1 score at Canadian Tire Center to allow Ottawa to gain ground in the Atlantic Division.
David Pastrnak scored the only for the Bruins, who dropped to 2-5-1 in their last eight games.
Loui Eriksson had two Grade-A chances in overtime but was unable to bury them. The first came when Ryan Spooner forced a turnover in the defensive zone that led to a breakaway for Eriksson. Craig Anderson came up big, however, stopping Eriksson’s bid. Later in overtime, Eriksson hit the post on a 2-on-1 with Spooner.
After Eriksson hit the post, the play went the other way, leading to a Mark Stone wraparound bid that Tuukka Rask robbed with a stick save. Given the space allowed by the 3-on-3 overtime format, Stone was able to bury the rebound to secure the win.
By getting a point, the Bruins were able to stay ahead of the Senators in the Atlantic, but the B’s still sit fourth in the division with 47 points on the season. Boston does have games in hand on the top three teams in the division, however.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
Brad Marchand made his return from a three-game suspension that had kept him out of game action for 10 days.
The 27-year-old was well-behaved against the Senators (it was against Ottawa that Marchand hit Mark Borowiecki to earn the suspension) as he slotted into his usual spot to the left of Patrice Bergeron. In addition to putting in the grunt work on the Bruins’ only regulation goal, he turned on the jets in overtime to beat Patrick Wiercioch to create a scoring chance in overtime.
With David Krejci out, Marchand had worn the Bruins’ second ‘A’ on his sweater in the game that earned him his suspension. Upon returning to the lineup, that ‘A’ was still being worn by Eriksson.
David Pastrnak’s second game back from a foot injury and a trip overseas saw him return to the score sheet, as the 19-year-old redirected a Zdeno Chara wrist shot past Craig Anderson 41 seconds into the second period to tie the game at one goal apiece.
The goal came as a result of Brad Marchand winning a battle along the wall in the offensive zone. The offensively gifted Pastrnak has long appeared to be a good fit for Patrice Bergeron and Marchand’s line, and the trio’s performance Saturday provided a good case as to why.
RASK KEEPS THEM IN IT
Tuukka Rask had to be on his A-game on Saturday and he was. As Ottawa generated ample chances throughout the game, Rask allowed only a first-period Mika Zibanejad breakaway goal that came as a result of a blocked shot followed by outstanding skating and playmaking from Erik Karlsson.
Rask stopped 31 of the 32 shots he saw in regulation before stoning Karlsson from the left circle in overtime. Stone’s goal probably wouldn’t happen in 5-on-5, as someone would be there to clear out the rebound.
Marchand’s return to the lineup figured to bump Brett Connolly to the fourth line, but Claude Julien opted to keep Randell in the lineup and scratch Connolly.
Connolly is slumping badly offensively, as he has just one goal in his last 29 games and has gone 17 consecutive games without a goal. Considering the amount of time he’s been given with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the lack of scoring from 23-year-old is alarming.
Saturday marked the second time this season that Connolly has been made a healthy scratch, as he was also given press box duty on Oct. 17 in Arizona. Zac Rinaldo and Joe Morrow were Boston’s other scratches Saturday.
Here’s how the lines and pairings looked with Marchand’s return and Connolly’s benching: