The Bruins secured the third seed in the Atlantic division. The Ottawa Senators had the pride and privilege of being the Bruins opponent in the first round. The Senators boasted a 4-0-0 record against the Bruins in the regular season. Boston had some injuries they had to face, and recently signed Charlie McAvoy was slated to start his first career game. The Bruins went into the series with a distinct edge in special teams and they were given an opportunity early in the 1st when Mark Stone went to the box for a tripping minor. McAvoy played a distinct role on that number one powerplay unit, and he connected with Pastrnak on a beautiful one timer that clanged off of the post.
Ottawa had a short-lived powerplay after the officials deemed a Marchand shot followthrough as a trip. Mark Stone ensured that the Sens didn’t have time to work with on that man advantage and took his second tripping penalty only sixteen seconds after Marchand’s minor. The Bruins powerplay continued to move the puck very well, but were unable to solve Craig Anderson and the Senators. The first stanza expired with the Bruins holding a 14-9 shot advantage. The Bruins seemed to have solved the Senators 1-3-1 and had all the momentum, they just needed to convert on their chances.
THE SECOND PERIOD WAS NOT FRIENDLY TO THE BRUINS.
Guy Boucher locked it down and the Bruins could not get any puck possession through the neutral zone. The Senators were getting a piece of every breakout and dumping it back into the Bruins zone. It seemed as if the Bruins stopped their skating game, and couldn’t get enough of a forecheck going to force any turnovers. The issue was magnified when Bobby Ryan screamed down the left wing and beat Adam McQuaid in a foot race. He brought the puck out in front of Rask and across him, and fired the puck into the gaping net. It gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead at the 10:28 mark of the 1st period. Erik Karlsson received the only assist on the goal. The second continued to be Ottawa’s ally. The Bruins failed to get a singe shot on goal in the period. It was the first time in Ottawa’s franchise history that they were able to accomplish that feat.
IT WAS GUT CHECK TIME FOR INTERIM COACH BRUCE CASSIDY.
The third period was upon the Bruins, and they were facing a 1-0 hole to a team they didn’t get a shot on. The Bruins responded. They were winning the races and hemming in the Senators in their own zone. Adam McQuaid had a man-sized shift where he was able to seal the boards and keep the puck in the zone. He found Riley Nash who got the puck to Massachusetts’ own Frank Vatrano. Vatrano’s lethal release made no mistake and the Bruins drew even 4:55 into the period. The Bruins kept their skating game going and gave themselves a chance to win the game. Brad Marchand, the NHL’s favorite villain, had the opportune chance to put the Bruins up late. He made no mistake. After some beautiful passing by the Bergeron line, Patrice fired a wrister that popped off of Anderson’s pads. Marchand shot a cannon of a wristshot into the gaping net to take a 2-1 lead with only 2:33 remaining in the game. Tuukka Rask and the Bruins held on, and the Bruins captured a 2-1 win in Game 1 of the first round series.