Bruins Senators Noel Acciari Game 6

The Bruins and Senators skated in Game 6 at TD Garden on Sunday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins were more than lucky to escape the first period of their must-win Game 6 against the Senators with a lead to their name. But that luck faded in and out, and ultimately led to their elimination, as the Sens defeated the Bruins by a 3-2 final in overtime.

A day and a half after the Bruins simply survived a double-overtime Game 5 in Ottawa, the Bruins shot themselves in the foot just 17 seconds into the game when Game 5’s hero, Sean Kuraly, was whistled for a puck over the glass penalty. It was the first of three puck over the glass penalties committed by the Bruins in the opening frame.

The second came from Joe Morrow, and the third from Colin Miller. But the Bruins managed to kill all three off, and cashed in on a power play of their own when Mark Stone was called for a trip on Kuraly.

With their first unit on the ice, and as the Bruins continued to look for seams on Ottawa’s Craig Anderson, a move back for Brad Marchand forced the Sens to back off the 39-goal scorer and buy into the idea of a shot. Marchand used that to the club’s advantage, too, as he went in but then shot the puck out to Drew Stafford, who had all the time in the world to rip a bullet through Anderson top corner at the 18:13 mark of the first period for his second goal of the postseason.

The Bruins survived one more mistake in the first period, too, when Tuukka Rask came up with a stop on a Stone breakaway off a David Pastrnak turnover late in the period, and the B’s held a (perhaps undeserved) 1-0 edge through 20 minutes of play.

But the toll of a first period that taxed every B’s player with a lick of defensive zone prowess was paid in the second period.

Charlie McAvoy was called for a trip for his dangerous leg-on-leg hit to Tommy Wingels just 2:49 into the second period, and the Bruins were forced into their fourth penalty kill of the night not even 23 minutes into action.

And it was Ottawa winger Bobby Ryan, who has haunted the Bruins with timely goals all season, that connected for his fourth goal of the playoffs on a perfect deflection of a Derick Brassard shot through traffic, scored at the 3:26 mark. A period of missed passes and turnovers got worse for the B’s, too, as a Stafford defensive zone turnover put the puck back on Ottawa’s blade before Kyle Turris ripped home his first goal of the playoffs just 5:06 after they tied the game on Rask and a suddenly winded B’s group.

The Bruins were not going to go down without a fight, however, and especially not without a say from a line that’s been entirely too quiet in this series, as Colin Miller caught the Sens in a bad change and found Marchand in alone at the attacking blue line. Marchand threw a shot on net, and it was Patrice Bergeron that charged in and helped bang a rebound home for a 2-2 score.

His second goal of the series, scored less than two minutes into the third period, made it an 18-minute game.

From there, the Bruins went to a 10-man forward rotation — neither Matt Beleskey nor Frank Vatrano saw shifts — and the Bruins found great point blank chances, with none better than Noel Acciari’s clear look on Anderson shortly after the Bergeron goal.

Marchand nearly connected on a one-timer 13 minutes into the third, and 34 seconds later, the B’s were on the power play.

The Senators survived the Boston power play, and with four minutes and change, the B’s and Sens remained tied.

And after 60, with the shots favoring the B’s 30-to-23, but with the score deadlocked at 2-2, it was off to overtime. Again.

In the fourth overtime of this series, and the fourth in the last five games of the series, the 30-year-old Rask came up with two big stops early, including one that nearly flubbed off his glove and into the B’s net.

But as the Bruins were stopped at one end by Anderson, a rush up towards Rask came with a Boston penalty, as Pastrnak was called for a hold on Clarke MacArthur just as Erik Karlsson crossed over into the B’s zone. And in line with the theme of the series, it was MacArthur that scored, as the Bruins were eliminated on his power-play goal 6:30 into the overtime.

This was the first time since 1998 that the Bruins failed to win a home game in a six-game series.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
The Bruins are winless in both home playoff games this round. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins are winless in both home playoff games this round. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

One of the biggest issues for the club prior to his appointment as the club’s interim head coach, Bruce Cassidy fixed the team’s near two-year-long home ice woes right out of the gate back in February.

Under Cassidy, the Bruins finished the year with the most home points in the NHL by way of an 11-4-1 record to finish their season, and outscored their opponents 52-to-29 at TD Garden. That plus-23 goal differential also ranked as the league’s best over that span.

But the Bruins have yet to see that success roll over into the playoffs, as they have dropped each postseason game played at home in their first round series with the Senators. They dropped a Patriots’ Day Game 3 by a 4-3 overtime final, and they then lost Game 4 by a 1-0 score. They weren’t the hometown beatdowns commonly suffered during the club’s two-year absence from postseason contention, but they still lacked the impact and strike-first mentality that became the status quo under Cassidy.

Another home loss would make this the first series since 1998’s first round series loss to the Capitals that they had three home playoff dates and did not win a single one. And they do not have the luxury of another home loss either, by the way, as they come into this game trailing 3-2 in this series. And after a roller coaster of a Game 5, and with the Garden expected to be absolutely deafening for today’s tilt, the Bruins know that emotion is something they can use to their advantage in this game.

“I’ll be the first to tell you, it was an emotional game as far as the coaching situation goes,” Cassidy said of Game 5 and coming into today. “A lot of highs and lows throughout the course of the game, and we need to stay calm and that starts with the head coach. So, that’s certainly something we want to do is be calm and play through whatever adversity presents itself, if any.

“But at the same token, emotion is part of the game. It’s a passionate game. It’s a violent game at times. So, there’s a certain amount of emotions that go into the game, we just have to stay on the right side of that.”

“We’re very excited, we’re obviously still in a tough spot, but we have to take it one game at a time,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said of the team’s opportunity in Game 6. “Our crowd always gives us a big boost for emotion, so it should be fun.”

Tuukka Rask will be in net for the B’s. Rask was incredible in the B’s season-saving Game 5 victory, with 41 saves in the double-overtime win, and comes into action with a .924 save percentage for the series, including a .931 save percentage at five-on-five.

Ottawa counters with Craig Anderson. The Bruins scored three goals on 39 shots against Anderson on Friday night.

Torey Krug, although he’s skating, is not ready to return. David Krejci, who was injured in an unpenalized knee-on-knee hit from Chris Wideman in Game 5, will also be out of action for the Bruins. He will be replaced by Matt Beleskey.

In another must-win, the Bruins, who have refused to die time and time again this time, to fight for one another yet again.

“It’s just, the guy in this room..they just battle for each other,” Joe Morrow said. “Everybody loves spending time with each other, spending time with each other in the dressing room, and fighting for one another on the ice.

“It speaks for a lot for the group of guys we have here.”

Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins…

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Tim Schaller – Sean Kuraly – David Backes

Matt Beleskey – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash

Frank Vatrano – Noel Acciari – Drew Stafford

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy

Joe Morrow – Kevan Miller

John-Michael Liles – Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
The Bruins are winless in both home playoff games this round. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins are winless in both home playoff games this round. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

One of the biggest issues for the club prior to his appointment as the club’s interim head coach, Bruce Cassidy fixed the team’s near two-year-long home ice woes right out of the gate back in February.

Under Cassidy, the Bruins finished the year with the most home points in the NHL by way of an 11-4-1 record to finish their season, and outscored their opponents 52-to-29 at TD Garden. That plus-23 goal differential also ranked as the league’s best over that span.

But the Bruins have yet to see that success roll over into the playoffs, as they have dropped each postseason game played at home in their first round series with the Senators. They dropped a Patriots’ Day Game 3 by a 4-3 overtime final, and they then lost Game 4 by a 1-0 score. They weren’t the hometown beatdowns commonly suffered during the club’s two-year absence from postseason contention, but they still lacked the impact and strike-first mentality that became the status quo under Cassidy.

Another home loss would make this the first series since 1998’s first round series loss to the Capitals that they had three home playoff dates and did not win a single one. And they do not have the luxury of another home loss either, by the way, as they come into this game trailing 3-2 in this series. And after a roller coaster of a Game 5, and with the Garden expected to be absolutely deafening for today’s tilt, the Bruins know that emotion is something they can use to their advantage in this game.

“I’ll be the first to tell you, it was an emotional game as far as the coaching situation goes,” Cassidy said of Game 5 and coming into today. “A lot of highs and lows throughout the course of the game, and we need to stay calm and that starts with the head coach. So, that’s certainly something we want to do is be calm and play through whatever adversity presents itself, if any.

“But at the same token, emotion is part of the game. It’s a passionate game. It’s a violent game at times. So, there’s a certain amount of emotions that go into the game, we just have to stay on the right side of that.”

“We’re very excited, we’re obviously still in a tough spot, but we have to take it one game at a time,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said of the team’s opportunity in Game 6. “Our crowd always gives us a big boost for emotion, so it should be fun.”

Tuukka Rask will be in net for the B’s. Rask was incredible in the B’s season-saving Game 5 victory, with 41 saves in the double-overtime win, and comes into action with a .924 save percentage for the series, including a .931 save percentage at five-on-five.

Ottawa counters with Craig Anderson. The Bruins scored three goals on 39 shots against Anderson on Friday night.

Torey Krug, although he’s skating, is not ready to return. David Krejci, who was injured in an unpenalized knee-on-knee hit from Chris Wideman in Game 5, will also be out of action for the Bruins. He will be replaced by Matt Beleskey.

In another must-win, the Bruins, who have refused to die time and time again this time, to fight for one another yet again.

“It’s just, the guy in this room..they just battle for each other,” Joe Morrow said. “Everybody loves spending time with each other, spending time with each other in the dressing room, and fighting for one another on the ice.

“It speaks for a lot for the group of guys we have here.”

Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins…

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Tim Schaller – Sean Kuraly – David Backes

Matt Beleskey – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash

Frank Vatrano – Noel Acciari – Drew Stafford

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy

Joe Morrow – Kevan Miller

John-Michael Liles – Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Unsurprisingly, the Bruins will be without David Krejci for Sunday’s Game 6 against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed before the game that his second-line center will miss the game due to injury.

The Bruins will be without David Krejci as they face elimination Sunday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins will be without David Krejci as they face elimination Sunday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Unsurprisingly, the Bruins will be without David Krejci for Sunday’s Game 6 against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed before the game that his second-line center will miss the game due to injury.

Krejci suffered a lower-body injury in Friday night’s Game 5 in Ottawa when Senators defenseman Chris Wideman caught him with a leg check that went unpenalized. Krejci did not return to the game.

Matt Beleskey will get into the lineup in Krejci’s place. Beleskey played two games earlier in the series and had three shots on goal, no points and four penalty minutes while averaging 8:42 time on ice.

Had Cassidy wanted to plug in another center, Ryan Spooner would’ve been a natural choice, but instead Spooner will remain on the sidelines after losing his spot in the lineup to Sean Kuraly in Game 5.

“It’s become, as we all suspected, much more of a down low, grind game, offensively for us, and that’s his strength,” Cassidy said of the decision to go with Beleskey. “He can get on people, get on pucks, win battles, get to the net. He should be afforded an opportunity to play to his strengths. It’s less of a line rush game, so now the people going in are suited to that.”

Cassidy said there could be some shuffling in terms of lines, and a couple guys who have been playing wing could be moved to center.

“We’ll move some people around in the lines,” Cassidy said. “Nothing new there. Obviously we changed things up and had to deal with it on Friday for whatever it was, four periods. Kuraly can certainly play center. He did a good job for us there the other day. [Noel] Acciari’s moved from right wing to center. [Riley] Nash and [Dominic] Moore can play center. I’m not going to be able to pinpoint exactly who will play center every shift, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

Cassidy did say that the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak line will remain intact. He also mentioned that he liked how Kuraly and David Backes played together Friday night, so expect those two to be together, probably with Kuraly as the center. Cassidy likes keeping Moore and Nash together as well.

In other Bruins injury news, Cassidy said that while defenseman Torey Krug won’t play Sunday, he’s making progress and is closer to a return than either Brandon Carlo or Adam McQuaid.

On the Ottawa side, head coach Guy Boucher said he’ll be making a couple minor moves for Sunday’s game. Fredrik Claesson will be going in on defense in place of Wideman, so the Bruins won’t have to worry about the guy who injured Krejci.

Boucher also said Tommy Wingels will get into the lineup up front and that forward Viktor Stalberg is a game-time decision. If Stalberg is able to play, another forward would come out of the lineup.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

The Bruins lost another player to injury on Friday night, and it came as the result of another unpenalized knee-on-knee hit that the Bruins have taken an issue with.

The longer this first round hate-fueled war of a series between the Bruins and Senators goes, which was forced back to Boston for a Game 6 thanks to a double-overtime goal from Sean Kuraly on Friday night, the greater the chances that the Bruins will get at least one of their injured top-fo

David Krejci was injured in a knee-on-knee hit in Game 5. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

David Krejci was injured in a knee-on-knee hit in Game 5. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

The Bruins lost another player to injury on Friday night, and it came as the result of another unpenalized knee-on-knee hit that the Bruins have taken an issue with. This time, it was Ottawa defenseman Chris Wideman that knocked David Krejci out of Game 5 in the first period. The hit bothered the Bruins, of course, but not nearly as much as some of the alleged taunting that came with it.

A day later and back in Boston with their season still alive, the Bruins were still a little hot with the immediate aftermath of the hit that’s left Krejci’s status for Sunday’s Game 6 at TD Garden up in the air.

“I didn’t see [the hit], but we heard some words coming our way about it from their team and that’s never a good thing,” B’s defenseman Kevan Miller said. “I don’t know if they felt that it was like that [Krejci] was OK or that it wasn’t a bad hit. I don’t know if they felt like it wasn’t a cheapshot or something, but I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

“It just looked like the player was hovering over Krejci, and I don’t know if that’s appropriate,” said Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, who first revealed that the Senators said something to Krejci as he limped off the ice last night. “But anyway, that’s neither here nor there to a certain extent, but I do believe it fired our guys up.”

So, what something said or was it simply posturing?

“Right after [the hit], Wideman chirped him right away,” Brad Marchand confirmed when asked about the incident and what was said to a fallen Krejci. “It’s just pretty classless to do something like that when you know you hurt a guy on the ice. Krejci is a pretty tough player, he can play through just about anything. But I guess that’s part of the game. It happens a lot out there.”

It’s the off-ice confirmation that these teams truly seem to hate each other, which is to be expected after what was a physical season series, and five straight one-goal decisions through the first week-plus of playoff hockey.

“It’s a series. You play these guys enough over and over you’re gonna learn to hate everyone and everything about them,” Joe Morrow said on Saturday. “It’s just how sports goes. You run into the same person time after time, there’s gonna be some bad blood between teams. I can’t imagine [them] saying anything good about [Krejci], so we’ll just have to retaliate like you do.”

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Torey Krug has missed all five games of this series. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Torey Krug has missed all five games of this series. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The longer this first round hate-fueled war of a series between the Bruins and Senators goes, which was forced back to Boston for a Game 6 thanks to a double-overtime goal from Sean Kuraly on Friday night, the greater the chances that the Bruins will get at least one of their injured top-four defensemen back in action.

Both Brandon Carlo (upper-body) and Torey Krug (lower-body) have missed all five games of this series to date and without much of a change in their status, and Adam McQuaid (upper-body) was knocked out of the first period of Game 2 and has not been seen since.

But on a day away from the ice after last night’s 90-minute game, the B’s did have an update on the most sorely missed of the three.

“Krug is skating,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed on Saturday. “He started that process of his rehab, so he’s on the ice.”

It’s the big step that everybody has been waiting for since the moment it was reported that Krug had left TD Garden on crutches following his Apr. 6 departure against the Senators, and it’s line with the trend that Krug has displayed over that span. Although he did not travel with the Bruins for Games 1 and 2 in Ottawa, Krug could be seen around the Garden without those crutches and was walking under his own power when the series returned to Boston for Games 3 and 4 earlier this week.

But without a practice today, and without a morning skate tomorrow because of a 3 p.m. puck drop, it’s unlikely to expect No. 47 to be anything close to game ready tomorrow, so his ‘day-to-day’ status will remain the same.

Krug recorded a career-high 51 points in 81 games for the Bruins during the regular season.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

This first round series against the Senators has been the series in which everything that could go wrong for the Bruins has, but by just a few inches.