The game was theirs had things been a little different for the Boston Bruins Saturday night in Canada’s capital city.
After young guns Mika Zibanejad and David Pastrnak traded goals in the first two periods of play, not another puck got past either one of Craig Anderson or Tuukka Rask until the 3-on-3 overtime period. Loui Eriksson had two glittering chances to give his B’s the extra point but could not cash in. Denied on a breakaway early in sudden death, he rang a shot off the post during a 2-on-1 break, and Ottawa took it the other way, finishing off the play to secure the home victory.
The winning goal came off the stick of Mark Stone, who had previously scored a pair of goals when Ottawa beat the B’s in the same building a few weeks earlier. Give the Senators forward credit- after Erik Karlsson’s shot hit off of Rask’s crest and bounced away from him, Stone gathered it up and attempted a wrap around goal. Rask somehow reached back in time from the left post to get his goal stick up against the far post to deny Stone’s initial bid. Unfortunately, with Eriksson behind Stone and out of the play, along with Colin Miller slow to react and put the body on the Senator player, Stone was able to corral the puck after it bounced off Rask’s stick paddle and flipped it up and over the goalie to end it.
Zibanejad’s first period tally, his eighth, was scored on a jailbreak rush after C. Miller’s shot attempt was blocked and Ottawa worked it back the other way. Karlsson slipped a pass to Zibanejad in the B’s zone after he broke in all alone and the Swede made a nifty deke before lifting the puck into the open side.
Pastrnak’s goal came on a deflection in the second frame, when he worked the puck around to Patrice Bergeron, who gathered it on the left half-wall and then passed back to Zdeno Chara at the point. Pastrnak rotated over to the slot in front of the net so that when Chara’s shot came in, Pastrnak was able to get a piece of it with his stick, making sure he made contact below the crossbar to make it a 1-1 game with his third marker of the year (in 12 NHL games).
That left it to the two teams to trade chances, with both Rask and Anderson holding down the fort until Stone finished off the B’s. Ryan Spooner and Senators forward Shane Prince (acquired with the 2nd-round pick in 2011 that Boston sent to Ottawa for Chris Kelly, btw) had particularly effective chances but neither player could find the back of the net.