The Bruins couldn’t come back for a fourth time Thursday night, and as a result they saw the Senators gain two massive points on them.
With a 6-4 win over the B’s, the Senators now have 81 points on the season, trailing the Bruisn (83) by two points for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, though the Senators have a game in hand.
The game was frantic from the first shift on, as both Kyle Turris and Carl Soderberg scored in the opening minute. Back-and-forth scoring and shaky play on both sides led Claude Julien to bench Reilly Smith and shake up his lines. Reilly Smith was given just one third-period shift, while Matt Bartkowski had five.
Dennis Seidenberg hurt Boston’s chance at a comeback bid late, as he was knocked off the puck in the defensive zone and put his hand over the puck for a delay of game penalty with 4:02 remaining.
The Bruins have now lost three straight (0-2-1) heading into a back-to-back Saturday and Sunday against the Panthers and Lightning, respectively.
The Bruins did something that no NHL had ever done before Thursday night: They scored three goals against the Hamburglar. Then, with the B’s trailing in the second, Torey Krug added a much-needed fourth to tie the game.
Hammond had entered the game 11-0-1 in 12 career NHL starts. With the win he remains undefeated in regulation.
SPOONER REPEATS HISTORY
Ryan Spooner had a pair of goals (one power-play, one even-strength) when the teams played earlier this month. He did the same Thursday in a performance that showed the Kanata, Ontario native clearly likes playing near his hometown.
Spooner redirected a Milan Lucic shot that sailed past Hammond just over four minutes into the game, giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Furthermore, it kept up his line’s pace as his trio with Lucic and David Pastrnak continue to score at a decent pace while not allowing many goals.
The 23-year-old added a power-play goal on a five-on-three in the second period, giving him five goals since being placed into the lineup. Those five goals tie him with Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand for the Bruins’ lead since Krejci’s injury.
In 13 games together since David Krejci‘s injury, the Spooner has a total of seven five-on-five goals, with only goal against in five-on-five play. The line has also scored one goal and allowed three when two of the line’s three members have been on the ice. Spooner’s overtime goal in four-on-four play against the Devils back on Feb. 27 makes for a total of nine goals scored and four goals against in all even-strength scenarios for the line.
SODERBERG STREAK OVER
Considering how many chances he got Tuesday against the Sabres without capitalizing, it seemed that Soderberg’s goal-less streak would last forever. Thankfully for the Bruins, that wasn’t the case.
Just 40 seconds after Kyle Turris’ goal to put Ottawa up early, Soderberg carried the puck into the offensive zone and shot past a screening Chris Kelly to tie the game with the second goal of the game’s opening minute.
The goal was Soderberg’s 11th of the season. His 10th came over two months ago back on Jan. 17.
SECOND-PAIR AND BERGERON LINE STRUGGLES LEAD TO CHANGES
When things are going right for the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron‘s line doesn’t get beat often. That wasn’t the case early on Thursday, as a Reilly Smith turnover in the opening seconds and some soft coverage later in the period led to a pair of goals allowed by Boston’s top line.
Both goals allowed came against Kyle Turris’ goal with Milan Michalek and Mark Stone. First, Smith sent the puck into no-man’s land in the neutral zone entering the defensive zone, which led to a possession for Ottawa in which Turris buried the rebound of a Michalek shot.
Later in the period, Michalek slipped off Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand to jump on a loose puck and bury it past Tuukka Rask to tie the game with just under five minutes remaining in the first period.
Bergeron’s line wasn’t on the ice for Ottawa’s third goal (Gregory Campbell‘s line was), but the presence of the Bartkowski-Seidenberg pairing made it three goals against for Boston’s second pair on the night.
After Smith turned the puck over from behind the net on a power-play to hand the Senators a power-play goal, Claude Julien benched the struggling forward for the remaining 8:03 of the second period and the first eight-plus minutes of the third. He turned the puck over in his first shift back.