GOLD STAR: Riley Nash doesn’t score a ton of goals, but he seems to decide to score them in bunches when they do come for him. Nash finished with a pair of goals in the second period to really extend the lead for the Bruins, and showcase some pretty good offensive skill that always seems to come out in flashes with him. Nash scored on a breakaway after an Erik Karlsson turnover for his first goal, and then dangled his way to the net for his second score after a dogged Anders Bjork fore-check created a Dion Phaneuf turnover in the Sens defensive zone. In all Nash finished with two goals, three points and a plus-3 rating in 14:23 of ice time, and two shots on net, a takeaway and three blocked shots in a solid all-around effort for the third line center.
BLACK EYE: For all the fanfare of the Matt Duchene trade rumors over the last couple of seasons, he’s been a fairly unremarkable player for the Senators on most nights since Ottawa gave up a ton to get him. On Wednesday night it was more of the same for Duchene, who finished with a minus-2 rating and three giveaways in 17:15 of ice time while being pretty much completely invisible on the ice for the Senators. Duchene did have one shot on net, so he had at least something small to show for his efforts in an otherwise “blah” evening. Boy, the Senators better hope that they start getting a little more from their investment in Duchene moving forward.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins built a two-goal lead in the first period against a hapless, terrible Ottawa team, so the second period could have been a big letdown for the B’s. They certainly eased off the gas pedal a little bit and let the Senators on the board with a Thomas Chabot goal, but they also scored two goals of their own around the Ottawa score while extending their lead. Once you are extending leads and outscoring opponents while still not playing your best hockey, that’s when you know that a team is onto something. The Bruins never really buckled despite being outshot in the second period by an 11-9 margin, and Tuukka Rask stepped up to give them the goaltending they needed in order to win.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Miller got things going with a first period goal after crushing Mike Hoffman with a big hit around the Boston net, and continued playing with fierce physicality and great efficiency throughout the game. Miller finished with a goal and a plus-4 rating in 18:52 of ice time, had three shot attempts and three hits and put the exclamation point on the victory when he threw another thunderous hit on Ottawa forward Filip Chlapik in the closing minutes of the game. The goal was Miller’s first of the season and could really begin to kick-start his offense at a time when a now healthy Adam McQuaid is pushing to get back into the B’s lineup somewhere on the back end.
BY THE NUMBERS: 25 – the number of penalty minutes for Ottawa defenseman Fredrik Claesson after drilling Noel Acciari with a head shot, catching a beating at the hands of Tim Schaller and then getting kicked out of the game with a pair of major penalties.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Boy, that thing is annoying after a while isn’t it?” –Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, pausing for a moment to acknowledge the fire alarm blaring at TD Garden during his entire postgame press conference.