Bruins shut out for fifth time in February


Bruins shut out for fifth time in February

BOSTON -- The Bruins had a power play for two of the last 2:09 in regulation, but failed to produce anything in the last-ditch effort, and were shut out by the Ottawa Senators 1-0 on Tuesday night at the TD Garden.

Tim Thomas made 37 saves in the game, but the Bruins' offense just couldn't get one past Robin Lehner, who made 32 saves in the shutout.

The Senators led 1-0 after the first period, thanks to a power-play goal from Erik Karlsson. The Ottawa defenseman took a wrist shot from the middle of the point, with 5:16 left in the first, that beat Thomas top-left, with help from Daniel Alfredsson's screen out front.

Thomas made 30 saves through the first two periods, while the Bruins only had 15 shots on net through two, and nothing to show for it.

And as it turned out, the final period didn't see any more production.

GOLD STAR: Tim Thomas stood on his head making 37 saves in a game that should have been a blowout victory for the Senators, but the one-man show wasnt enough for two points. He made a ridiculous recovery save when he went screeching back to the net to stop an Erik Condra stop at the doorstep, and foiled a couple of Erik Karlsson bids through heavy traffic in front of the net. Thomas couldnt be faulted on the power play goal allowed with Daniel Alfredsson blocking his view directly in front of him, and he was the only Bs player worthy of victory for 60 minutes of hockey. The good news: Thomas is back on his game. The bad news: the Bs offense isnt.

BLACK EYE: Joe Corvo might have a legit alibi for failing to go after Kyle Turris when he said that Colin Greening told him on the first shift of the night that the young Sens forward wasnt going to fight. But Corvo also had several chances to finish off hits against Turris the old-fashioned way and pulled up in almost every instance, and thats going to turn away a lot of people in Boston toward Corvo. The Bs defenseman didnt have a registered hit, didnt have a shot that got through traffic and really didnt seem to be playing with the kind of emotion one would expect from a wronged player. When it comes down to it Corvo just isnt a Bruins-type of player.

HONORABLE MENTION: Four shots on net in 23:27 of ice time and a power play goal for Erik Karlsson, who is beginning to really take off in his NHL career after blossoming into an All-Star in his second season. The Swedish defenseman looks like hes going to be a handful in the playoffs, and the Bruins could do nothing to make him pay at the other end of the ice throughout the game.

TURNING POINT: The first 40 points saw 15 shots on net for the Bruins and few hotly contested offensive chances. Sure the Bruins rallied for 17 shots in the final 20 minutes when they finally found their legs, but it seemed as if the game was already lost for the Bruins despite the one-goal deficit. It was surprising that Boston couldnt summon a better opening effort against an Ottawa team thats right behind them in the Northeast Division standings, and more importantly now the Sens have some confidence that they can beat Thomas in this building should they meet in the playoffs.
BY THE NUMBERS 5: the number of times in 13 games that the Bruins were shut out during the month of February. That is what you would call an abysmal statistic for the Black and Gold.

QUOTE TO NOTE: Those first two periods were really painful to watch and to see. Our guys just didnt have any legs and our game was very, very slow . . . even on face-offs. We just struggled in all areas. Claude Julien, who saw the Bruins fall short during a furious comeback attempt in the third period after a bogus first 40 minutes.
-Danny Picard contributed the game story.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat


WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

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Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?


Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?

The Boston Celtics remain a team whose collective talents are far more valuable than their individual abilities.

But there are going to be nights when someone has to shoulder a larger burden of the team in order to win. More often than not, that “one” will likely be No. 11, Kyrie Irving. 

We saw in Dallas what can happen when Irving feels he has little choice but to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. 

The Celtics were desperate for a spark against the Mavericks and found it in Irving, who scored 47 points in leading the Celtics to a come-from-behind 110-102 overtime win. 

It remains to be seen if the Celtics will require a similar Herculean effort tonight when they take the Miami Heat with a chance to extend their winning streak to 17 straight. 

This team isn’t one to dwell on success in the past, even if the past was just 24 hours ago. But there’s no getting around how what happened on Monday night might impact what we see against the Heat. 

Boston expended a tremendous amount of energy in rallying from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter at Dallas, the kind of effort that may be difficult to replicate against a Miami team that you can count on to play hard from the opening tip to the final horn. 

Irving’s performance was one of the rare instances this season when Boston clearly could not have won without their top scorer having a big game. 

“When we needed it most, he made big shot after big shot,” said Al Horford. “He had such good rhythm, I was thinking, ‘just let him keep it going.’ He just kept being aggressive, taking really good shots. He recognized he needed to be extra aggressive, especially at the end and score the ball for us.”

Scoring could potentially be at a premium against Miami which allows 102.5 points per game which ranks ninth in the league in fewest points allowed. Also, the Heat will test Boston’s perimeter defenders. Miami comes into tonight’s game averaging 11.1 made 3-pointers per game which ranks ninth in the NBA. 

The Heat are led by Goran Dragic who is averaging team highs in scoring (18.3 points) and assists (4.7) this season. 

These two squared off earlier this season in Miami with the Celtics coming away with a 96-90 win as Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 and 20 points, respectively. In that game, the Heat were without starting center Hassan Whiteside, who will be in the lineup tonight as the Heat try to bounce back after losing three of its last four games.