OTTAWA – The Bruins survived some long stretches where it didn’t look very good for them, and grind out a gutty playoff victory to start their series.
Bruins MVP Brad Marchand hopped on the rebound of a Patrice Bergeron one-timer after a long, extended shift where the Bruins hemmed the Senators in their own zone, and took a 2-1 win in Game 1 of the first round series at the Canadian Tire Centre.
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The goal in the final minutes of the third snapped a 20-game goal-scoring drought for No. 63 in the playoffs, and saw Boston’s best players make something happen when it was needed in crunch time of the third period. The third period saw the Bruins throw 11 shots on net at the Sens, and get off the mat from what looked like a middle period where Guy Boucher’s trap was starting to get locked in.
The game took a turn toward Ottawa in the second period as the Bruins didn’t have a single shot on net, and the Senators managed to scratch for one strike and a small lead. Bobby Ryan stripped Adam McQuaid of the puck by the B’s blue line, and then bulled his way past Zdeno Chara to the Boston net before flipping a second chance bid past Tuukka Rask.
That was the way things stayed until Boston finally broke through with a shot five minutes into the third, and then a Frank Vatrano sniper shot from the high slot followed to snap a 16-game goal-scoring drought to end the season for him. It was a nice play on a won battle by Adam McQuaid along the side boards, and that eventually turned into Riley Nash feeding Vatrano in the high slot for one of his patented snap-shots that fooled Craig Anderson.
The Vatrano goal set up Boston’s heroics at the end of the period with Marchand acting as playoff hero for the Black and Gold on this night.