For the first time since 2014, the Boston Bruins played Stanley Cup playoff hockey. They took to the Canadian Tire Center to play the Ottawa Senators. They wasted little time, playing an intense game and taking Senators the distance. Ultimately, Boston found enough offense late and took the lead in the series opener.
Ottawa and Boston started the game with fast shots and excellent goaltending on both sides. Craig Anderson made 14 saves in the frame while Tuukka Rask matched him with nine. Both teams took off quickly and welcomed the crowd to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The second period saw the Bruins forget how to shoot the puck and the Senators took the lead and control of the game. In the entire second period, Boston shot the puck zero times on Anderson. Meanwhile, Ottawa took the lead on an excellent clear, a mishandled puck by Adam McQuaid, and a beautiful solo effort by Bobby Ryan. He drove, got to the net, lost control of it, then shot it by Rask on a hard angle from Rask’s left. Ottawa took the 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
At the start of the third period, Boston remembered how to play the offensive side and clamped down on the Senators. Ottawa landed only six shots the entire period as their offensive woes carried over from the end of the regular season. Boston found their offensive groove. Adam McQuaid made up for his earlier miscue and kept the puck in for Mike Vatrano to score in his NHL Playoff debut. That goal evened the game less than five minutes into the period. Boston kept up the pressure, making Anderson work in his net. Eventually, Boston found their opening and took it. With less than three minutes left, Boston fired a plethora of shots his way. On one shot, the puck rolled to Brad Marchand who put in the go ahead puck with 2:33 left in the game. Boston held on the rest of the way to win the series opener 2-1.
Ottawa outshot the Bruins 27-25 for the game, including keeping the Bruins from shooting on Anderson at all in the 2nd. The teams split the faceoffs 26 a piece. The Bruins continued offensive momentum from the later stretch of the regular season under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.
Game two of the series will be in Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday. Puck drops at 3pm Eastern time.