OTTAWA – The Bruins and Senators both enjoyed a rare chance for a couple of off days between Stanley Cup playoff games, but now ready for what should be an incredibly intense, pivotal Game 2 with Boston already up in the series.
“We’re gonna have to be much better than we were [in Game 1],” said Marchand. “You can’t expect to win a series playing like that.”
For the Bruins it wasn’t always pretty in a victorious Game 1, including the 20-minute span in the second period without a single shot on Ottawa’s net. It also included a bevy of offensive chances they failed to capitalize, including a couple for David Pastrnak alone where he hit a post and later blew a tire and fell down on a breakaway chance. Those plays need to be finished off if they want to truly gain the upper hand in a playoff series.
None of that will be easy with important players in David Krejci, Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug all out of the Boston lineup.
But any importance on shot attempts, Corsi and other gaudy glory stats has receded in the last 28 games since Bruce Cassidy took over as interim head coach of the Bruins, and the Black and Gold will gladly win ugly again on Saturday afternoon at the Canadian Tire Centre.
“I think part of the reason we’ve had success since Bruce [Cassidy] took over is because a lot of guys are buying into ‘take that stat sheet and light it on fire’ because if we’re winning games everybody is happy and feeling good about themselves,” said David Backes, who finished with a workmanlike two shots on net and five hits in 18:31 of ice time. “We’re getting where we need to get to. We crossed that first task of getting here and now we need to worry about winning Game 2. We’ll keep adding victories until they tell us our opponent is done, or that we’re done. We like the way we’ve started.
“Maybe you have to take a big hit just to advance a puck over the red line into their zone, but those little plays build your strength and bind your team together. They pay off as far as territory, and getting fresh legs out there so you can tilt the ice the other way.”
So the Bruins will expect a very disciplined, frustrating game from the Senators designed to look much more like the second period than the opening and closing periods from Game 1, and they should expect a lot more desperation and chippiness as well from Guy Boucher’s bunch. It should make for a quality playoff hockey game from both clubs, and require an even better effort from Boston if they want to head back to Boston with a chance to close out the series with two winning dates on home ice at TD Garden.