Patriots Day is a special day in Boston. The annual celebration of the first battle of the American Revolution comes complete with sunshine, morning baseball at Fenway Park, and the Marathon. This year, there was an excellent addition to the sporting lineup with an meeting between the Bruins and Senators at the Boston Garden.
Boston and Ottawa split two exciting games in Canada’s capital to begin their series. After a late win in the opener and a Senator comeback win in overtime of game two, the teams resumed the series on Causeway Street in Boston. The teams looked to gain control in the series. They’d have to survive Boston’s second marathon of the day.
Ottawa got off to a hot start. They controlled the pace of the first period, carrying momentum from Saturday night’s victory across the border. They outshot the Bruins 10-3 and found the net twice. With 7:10 gone, Erik Karlsson cleared the puck from behind his own end. The puck found Mike Hoffman at the opposite blue line. Hoffman made a move on Tuukka Rask and dropped it into the net to score first. Only 35 seconds later, Derick Brassard beat Rask after Boston failed to clear the puck. Ottawa took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Senators kept the pressure up and extended their lead at the start of the second period. They again outshot the Bruins 11-7 and took a 3-0 lead over the Bruins when Mike Hoffman scored his second goal of the game. This one was a tip in on a power play only 3:42 into the period.
After Hoffman’s goal, the Bruins roared back into the game. Less than three minutes after the third goal, Noel Acciari found his way to the front of the net and tipped home a shot by John Michael-Liles to get Boston on the board. 42 seconds later, David Backes got his first goal of the postseason after stealing the puck from Bobby Ryan. Boston got one last goal in the period on an excellent 5 on 3 power play. Charlie McAvoy, playing in his third NHL game, sent a smooth pass over to David Pastrnak, and the third year forward beat Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson to even the game 3-3.
Boston surged in the third, playing their best hockey and forcing Anderson to match them. Unfortunately for the roaring Boston crowd, he did. Anderson faced nine shots in the frame and saved all of them. Not even an outburst on a 4 on 4 sequence near the halfway point of the period was enough to take the lead. Fortunately for the Bruins, Rask saved all of Ottawa’s seven shots in the third. Regulation ended in a 3-3 tie and for the second game in a row, overtime was needed to determine a winner.
Both teams had good chances to possess the puck and skated well. Unfortunately, controversy became part of this excellent game late. The officials failed to call a minor against Ottawa when the puck was in Boston’s offensive end. They then called a roughing penalty against Riley Nash that many thought should be at least matching minors. Ottawa took the chance for an overtime Power Play and made the most of it. Erik Karlsson took the puck from behind his own net and sent a long entry pass through the neutral zone and onto Bobby Ryan’s stick. Ryan passed it to Kyle Turris, who got it back to Ryan for a tip in to give Ottawa their second consecutive 4-3 overtime victory in the series.
With the win, Ottawa takes a 2-1 series lead over the Bruins. They can put Boston on the ropes in game four on Wednesday night. Puck drop at 7:30 at the TD Garden.