The second period was where things almost fell apart for the Bruins in Game 1. But like they have in almost every game since Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien in February, the Bruins adjusted and put forth what was probably their best period of a five-frame sample.

The Senators overcame a 3-1 deficit to win Game 2. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

The Senators overcame a 3-1 deficit to win Game 2. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

The second period was where things almost fell apart for the Bruins in Game 1. But like they have in almost every game since Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien in February, the Bruins adjusted and put forth what was probably their best period of a five-frame sample.

And they did it with yet another defensive injury, too.

But it was the third period where the Black and Gold allowed the Senators to take control of this game and ultimately paved the way for a 4-3 overtime final that will send this series back to Boston tied at 1-1.

The Bruins first scored when Drew Stafford finally capitalized on what felt like a game’s worth of chances at the 9:47 mark of the middle frame. For Stafford, it was career playoff goal No. 5, and stood after a lengthy review following a challenge from Sens coach Guy Boucher to determine whether or not Stafford was offside on the zone entry that came 15 seconds before the goal.

The challenge didn’t work, but a power play right did, as Clarke MacArthur buried his first goal in over two years with a top-shelf goal sniped on Tuukka Rask just 1:10 after the Stafford goal.

Back on the penalty kill just three seconds later, the Bruins caught a serious break and made Ottawa pay when Craig Anderson regrettably ventured out for a loose puck that was picked off by Dominic Moore, and charged towards the net before Tim Schaller swooped in and banged home a shorthanded tally for the first playoff goal of his career.

With the lead back in their control, the Bruins did what they’ve really set out to do this in this series and extended their edge to two when Patrice Bergeron came through with a magnificent tip on a David Pastrnak bomb for a 3-1 edge.

After a shotless middle period in Game 1, the Bruins came through a three-goal — with each goal scored in a different facet of the game, with an even-strength goal and two special team tallies — stanza and with a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes of action.

…Then, as mentioned, the third period happened.

Chris Wideman scored a seeing-eye wrister that got through a screened Rask at the 5:28 mark of the period. Then Erik Karlsson did some Erik Karlsson thing and simply danced around the Bruins before he fed Derick Brassard for a goal that knotted things up at 3-3. An 8-to-6 third frame didn’t end without one last mistake from the Bruins, however, as Bruins captain and minute-eater Zdeno Chara committed an inexcusable puck over the glass penalty with just 12 seconds left in the frame.

Oof.

The penalty was likely one inspired by fatigue, as it put an end to a stretch that included the 40-year-old captain playing in 3:45 of the last five minutes of hockey to that point, but one that still hurt because of its timing and from the fact that Chara did not really have an Ottawa skater challenging at the attacking blue line, which meant that a simple off the boards clear would have done the job even better than an up-high clear attempt would.

In the overtime with almost the full two minutes to kill, the Bruins continued to mismanage the puck, and it was on a botched clear — even with Chara out of the box — from Brad Marchand that kept the Senators into the B’s end, and allowed Dion Phaneuf to hammer a puck through traffic and into Rask’s net for their third goal in about 16 minutes to complete the comeback.

From a 2-0 lead to a 1-1 lock, and with the Bruins losing Adam McQuaid to an upper-body injury in this game, the Bruins and Sens are officially locked into a series, with Monday’s Game 3 in Boston looming large for the suddenly limping B’s.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
The Bruins will look to grab a 2-0 series lead today in Ottawa. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

The Bruins will look to grab a 2-0 series lead today in Ottawa. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

The Bruins are running out of healthy bodies.

Without forward Noel Acciari and defensemen Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug for the start of this round one series against the Senators, top six center David Krejci was a late scratch from Game 1, and Colin Miller was injured in that game thanks to a knee-on-knee hit from Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki. And the former three will once again remain out of action for today’s Game 2, as will the latter duo.

“He’s unavailable,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krejci following Friday’s skate in Ottawa. “He’ll be day-to-day. He wasn’t very good [Friday]. We were hoping he’d skate…didn’t happen. Not playing for four days is going to be difficult.”

Down Krejci, Ryan Spooner will take over the second line duties, with Drew Stafford and David Backes as his wings. It’s a line that desperately needs some production to their name, especially at five-on-five, as relying on the star-studded top line with Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak could only spell trouble for a Black and Gold that struggled to find the middle of the ice for the majority of Wednesday’s Game 1 win.

On the backend, Miller’s absence will plug Joe Morrow back into NHL action for the first time since Jan. 22. He last skated in any sort of game action back in late February during a three-game conditioning stint with the P-Bruins that included one goal and eight shots on goal. And Morrow, who had one assist in 17 regular season contests this past season, will begin his night on a third pairing with Kevan Miller, a talent that he has familiarity with dating back his first season in the B’s organization.

“In Providence when I had them both years ago they were a good, solid shutdown pair,” Cassidy, who coached the P-Bruins for five years before jumping up to the B’s staff this year, said of the Morrow-Miller pair. “Now, it was the American Hockey League, I’m dating myself by probably three years ago, but there was a comfort level there, so that’s probably how it would shape up.”

Still, the loss of Krejci and Miller — along with the known absences of Acciari, Carlo, and Krug — are significant for this team, if only because these players hardly missed any time this season. Among the regulars (everybody except Acciari), they missed just a combined seven games this season, six of which from Miller behind a January lower-body ailment.

Tuukka Rask gets the call in the Boston net. The 30-year-old Rask stopped 26-of-27 shots in his Game 1 victory, and enters play with stops on all but five of the last 167 shots thrown his way (a .970 save percentage) in his last seven games played.

Ottawa counters with Craig Anderson, who yielded two even-strength goals to the Bruins for the first time all season in Wednesday’s defeat in what finished as a 23-of-25 showing for the veteran netminder.

Since 2007, the Bruins have taken a 2-0 series lead in five of 16 playoff series, and have won all but one of those five series (2010’s unforgettable second-round choke to the Flyers is that lone series loss).

Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins…

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Drew Stafford – Ryan Spooner – David Backes

Frank Vatrano – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash

Matt Beleskey – Sean Kuraly – Tim Schaller

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy

John-Michael Liles – Adam McQuaid

Joe Morrow – Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

A late scratch from Wednesday’s Game 1 against the Senators with an upper-body injury, yesterday’s day off didn’t do enough to get Bruins center David Krejci back on the ice on Friday.

David Krejci did not practice on Friday . (James Guillory/USA Today Sports)

David Krejci did not practice on Friday . (James Guillory/USA Today Sports)

A late scratch from Wednesday’s Game 1 against the Senators with an upper-body injury, yesterday’s day off didn’t do enough to get Bruins center David Krejci back on the ice on Friday.

With another absence from practice on Friday, Krejci has now skated on just Monday (for just a quick bit before he departed back down to the bowels of Warrior Ice Arena with a ‘maintenance’ issue) and in Wednesday’s morning skate and pregame warmup this week, and has garnered the ‘unavailable’ tag from Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy when asked about his status for Saturday’s Game 2.

Down Krejci, Ryan Spooner skated on a second line between Drew Stafford and David Backes, and the Bruins once again went with the load-up option on their first line with David Pastrnak on the right of the all-zone Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand threat. The third line then became Frank Vatrano to the left of Dominic Moore and Riley Nash, and the fourth line featured Sean Kuraly between Matt Beleskey and Tim Schaller.

Krejci, one of three Bruins skaters to play in all 82 games this season, has scored 23 goals and 54 points this season.

The Bruins and Senators play Game 2 on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Joe Morrow recorded one assist in 17 games this season. (Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports)

Joe Morrow recorded one assist in 17 games this season. (Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports)

It’s been almost three full months since Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow has skated in an NHL game, but the Bruins will likely ask just that out of the 24-year-old defender for tomorrow’s Game 2 meeting with the Senators at the Canadian Tire Center.

Already without Brandon Carlo (upper-body) and Torey Krug (lower-body), the Bruins lost Colin Miller midway through Wednesday’s Game 1 victory following a knee-on-knee hit from Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki, and it doesn’t sound like Friday’s practice was all that encouraging from Miller.

With Miller out of drills, Morrow slid into the mix on a third pairing with Kevan Miller, while John-Michael Liles moved up to the second pairing with Adam McQuaid, and Charlie McAvoy stayed as the right-side option next to Zdeno Chara.

Morrow’s last game was a Jan. 22 showing against the Penguins, and one that came with one hit, a blocked shot, and (somehow) a plus-1 rating in 15:14 of time on ice in a 5-1 defeat in Pittsburgh. That effort was the end of a four-game playing streak for Morrow, who finished the regular season with just 17 games played.

“We just think the guys we’ve put in have been better,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said on Thursday when asked what’s kept Morrow out of the B’s defensive rotation this season. “It’s that simple.”

A perennial scratch, Morrow last suited up in an actual game in late February, when he skated in a three-game conditioning stint with the P-Bruins, where he recorded one goal and eight shots on goal.

“In fairness to Joe, the opportunity hasn’t been there as much as much as the other guys, but that’s the way it’s kind of played out,” Cassidy said. “But when he does get his chance, he’s going to have to prove he can stay in the lineup.”

A first-round pick from 2011, Morrow has two goals and nine points in 65 career NHL games.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Two maintenance days did not heal whatever is nagging Bruins center David Krejci, as the veteran Czech was a late scratch from the B’s Game 1 victory over the Senators because of an upper-body injury.

The Bruins welcomed themselves back to the playoffs in a big way with Wednesday’s 2-1 comeback victory over the Senators.

WEEI.com’s Ty Anderson and Josh Dolan talked about that, the joy and range of emotions playoff hockey can bring to the fans, and how Brad Marchand needed to answer the way he did in Game 1 following his two-game suspension to end the season.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
David Krejci missed Game 1 because of an upper-body injury. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

Bruins center David Krejci missed Game 1 because of an upper-body injury. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

Two maintenance days did not heal whatever is nagging Bruins center David Krejci, as the veteran Czech was a late scratch from the B’s Game 1 victory over the Senators because of an upper-body injury.

On the ice for the morning skate and then the pregame warmup at Canadian Tire Center, Krejci departed back down the tunnel before the warmup was over, and by the time the teams hit the ice for puck drop, Krejci’s name was added to the list of scratches.

Replaced by Sean Kuraly, who played just 7:28 in the win, Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy offered a brief update on Krejci’s situation that night and heading into this weekend’s Game 2.

“I’m an optimist, and that didn’t work out,” Cassidy, who all along said that he expected Krejci to play, admitted following Wednesday’s win. “He’s continuing to nurse an upper body injury, so tomorrow he’ll be off, the whole group will be off, and hopefully he can get out there and test it out and go from there.”

With Krejci out of action, the Bruins loaded up their first line when they reunited David Pastrnak with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (a move that ultimately paid off), and then by all means shuffled the rest of their lines to hell, with Riley Nash and Ryan Spooner splitting second line center duties at various points throughout the night.

“We miss him,” confirmed Cassidy.

“He’s a great playoff performer,” he continued, “But you’ve got to soldier on, and hopefully he’s able to soldier on, on Saturday.”

Krejci, who played in all 82 games this season, finished this season third among Bruins skaters in goals (23) and points (54). He also has 77 points in 93 playoff games since the start of the 2008 postseason, which ranks as the 8th-best point-per-game pace among NHLers with at least 90 games of playoff experience over that span.

The Bruins return to the ice for Game 2 on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Charlie McAvoy

Charlie McAvoy

It was at last year’s development camp that Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo said that Charlie McAvoy was a defenseman that could be trusted for a solid 25 minutes every night.

But I don’t think Pandolfo expected the Bruins to be that team less than a year after they drafted McAvoy with the 14th overall pick. The wide-eyed rookie delivered under tough circumstances in his NHL debut, though, with an efficient 24:11 night and a plus-1 rating in the B’s 2-1 Game 1 win.

“I thought he was terrific,” Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy said. “19-year-old kid comes in, never played a game in the National Hockey League. He had composure, saw the ice, defended well, got his kind of indoctrination over early when he tried to dump one in, hit our guy and it came back. Other than that, I thought he was pretty good, stayed out of trouble, and we needed it, we needed it.”

Down Brandon Carlo (upper-body) and Torey Krug (lower-body) to begin this series, the Bruins also lost Colin Miller to an apparent lower-body injury after the second period after a knee-on-knee hit from Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki.

Miller’s departure made it the third Bruins game in a row that came with the loss of a defenseman.

But Cassidy refused to stray away from using McAvoy despite his rookie status with just four AHL games to his name, as No. 73 skated in 29 shifts by the night’s end (including 10 in the third period), and his aforementioned 24:11 of time on ice finished as the second-most among all Bruins behind team captain Zdeno Chara, who finished the night with a game-high 25:32 of time on ice.

“I don’t really think about the ice time or the numbers; I kind of just sit there and wait for Coach to call my name,” McAvoy, who admitted that he was nervous on his first shift, said after the win. “And then I just try and bring it every single shift.”

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson