Talking Points: Rask holds strong in Game 1 win
Tuukka Rask was stellar for the Bruins between the pipes making 26 saves and keeping the Bruins in the game while they got themselves untracked offensively. The B’s netminder kicked out a leg pad save in the first period on a Derick Brassard centering pass to Bobby Ryan in front of the net, and then stopped Brassard on a breakaway a little later in the period to keep Ottawa off the board. His only blemish came in the second period when both Adam McQuaid and Zdeno Chara were beaten by Bobby Ryan to the Boston net and he was able to pop in a second chance follow-up shot. Otherwise Rask held strong and shut down the Senators, who had some pretty good looks against an undermanned Bruins defense corps that keeps losing players to injury.
Alex Burrows proved on Wednesday night that he isn’t much of a factor in the playoffs against the Black and Gold if he isn’t biting people. Burrows finished with just a single shot on net in 11:22 of ice time and was pretty invisible throughout the game as other lines were clearly featured a bit more by Guy Boucher. Many wondered if Burrows would be up to his antics in Game 1 against the Bruins after scoring some goals and making a pretty decent impact for Ottawa after he was traded to the Sens, but he was on his best behavior while fellow Ottawa trouble-makers like Mark Borowiecki and Zack Smith were stirring it up for the Sens. So that means the Bruins should wear extra glove protection for Game 2 because Burrows might come biting.
The turning point was Frank Vatrano slipping one by Craig Anderson in the third period on the second shot of the frame after the Sens goalie had made a juggling save on the first puck thrown at him earlier in the shift. Adam McQuaid did a nice job of winning a battle on the side boards and getting the puck to Riley Nash, who fed Vatrano in the high slot for one of his snap-shot specials. It was a big goal for Vatrano after not scoring in his final 16 games of the regular season. The goal not only tied the game but also wiped away the stench of a second period when Ottawa had held them without a single shot on goal, and things didn’t look all that encouraging. Instead Vatrano scored after being moved to a line with Riley Nash and Dominic Moore, and the Bruins got things rolling downhill afterward.
Charlie McAvoy is the real deal. He finished second on the Bruins with 24:11 of ice time for the game, consistently moved the puck up the ice against the trap, was a plus-1, took a pretty good smack from Mark Borowiecki at mid-ice in the first period and showed the kind of poise you don’t see in 19-year-old kids making their NHL debut in the playoffs. He finished with four shot attempts, a hit and two blocked shots and was part of the five-some on the ice at the end of the third period that produced the game-winning goal after an extended zone time shift. Those that had watched McAvoy play knew he was something pretty special, and he showed it in Game 1.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 – the number of consecutive games where a Bruins defenseman has gone down to injury after Colin Miller was felled by a leg-on-leg hit from Mark Borowiecki. Miller returned briefly in the second period, but was done for the night after that.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I think we were all getting tired, them and us. Luckily we got a bounce and it worked out for us.” – Brad Marchand, on the long shift where the B’s won battles and kept resetting in the offensive zone before breaking through with his “lucky” game-winner.