The Senators took on the Boston Bruins for the second time in four days. The last was a 5-3 loss where the Sens were almost able to pull off one of their “cardiac kid” comebacks but fell just short. Luckily the Sens had a game between that one and this one to bounce back and get some confidence for this matchup. After defeating the Islanders 5-2 on Sunday, Sens were ready to take another shot at the Bruins.
The Senators took it to the Bruins right away and put the pressure on. It was clear the team wanted to end the losing ways in this Ottawa/Boston series. They got a few shots on net early but unfortunately for Ottawa, it was all-star goalie Tim Thomas playing for the other team. He couldn’t stop them all though and finally the Sens made it work. With Tyler Seguin in the box for tripping Karlsson, the sens PP struck. It was none other than Erik Karlsson who has had the opening sens goal in four of the past five games. Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek picked up the assist as Ottawa took the first lead of the game. That was the only one of their 13 shots that got trhough however but the score held 1-0. Robin Lehner, who wasn’t quite as busy, came up big a few times and stopped all 7 shots he faced in the opening period.
The star of the period was once again Tim Thomas. The Senators were the better team for the second straight period but couldn’t find a way to get it past the brick wall in front of the Brunis net. They did get 18 shots and many glorious opportunities however. Kyle Turris came close on a breakaway where he took out Tim Thomas during the effort. It certainly got the crowd and Bruins going as they still seemed to have unresolved issues with Turris from last game. It was a gritty period and though there were many little scrums and times where fights seemed to be beginning, none happened. Robin Lehner again was the least busy of the two goalies but still stopped all 8 shots he faced to preserve the delicate 1-0 lead heading into the second intermission.
Bruins began putting the pressure on, still very much in this game. They we’re out-skated early but all they needed was one goal to make it an even game. The pressure got to the Sens and forced them to take a few penalties. Erik Condra got the first for holding, and it was Nick Foligno going of later for tripping. Luckily the Sens were able to kill both and hold onto their lead. Robin Lehner came up with some big save to make that happen. Though he only had 15 shots through the first two periods, that total more than doubled with 17 more shots in the third. With the help of the Sens defenseman, Robin Lehner kept the 1-0 score and gave the Sens their first victory this season against Boston.
*** SenShot’s Three Stars ***
1st Star: Robin Lehner – A 32 save effort gave him his first ever NHL shutout. He made key saves when it matter and came up strong to protect the lead, especially in the third where he faced 17 shots.
2nd Star: Tim Thomas – The only reason his team still even had a chance after the first period. Thomas made incredible saves and was frustrating for the Sens who were only able to score once on 38 shots.
3rd Star: Erik Karlsson – Scored the only goal of the game and came close on many other opporunities. He was also solid defensively shutting down Boston’s top scorers.
Simply put, Ottawa was the better team and deserved to win this game. Both the goaltenders where the stars of their own team and played great. Lost in the Lehner shutout was Matt Gilroy’s debut as a Senator. Though he played limited minutes, he was quietly solid. On the other side of the spectrum was Erik Condra who was very obviously off his game tonight. Condra had 3(+) glorious chances that would be considered “guaranteed goals” except for he wasn’t able to finish on any. The worst came in the second period as he was alone in front with a wide open net and missed. Thankfully Lehner made sure only one goal was needed, and didn’t make Condra need to feel any worse about that play.
The next game is Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Scotibank Place. Until then, Sens fans!
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