Game Recap: Sens Pull Rope-A-Dope On The Bruins


For about 45 minutes of hockey, the Ottawa Senators looked disinterested and, other than Craig Anderson, it wasn’t a performance to write home about.  However, a couple of late third period goals and the Senators handed the Bruins the loss for the second time in 8 days.  The Senators are the only team to beat the Bruins so far this exhibition season.


The Senators came out listless in this match.  They failed to get their legs going, and Milan Lucic converted a cross-crease feed from Nathan Horton past a helpless Anderson.  The goal was part of a shooting gallery that saw the target painted on Anderson’s chest. Before the buzzer sounded to end the period, the Bruins had fired 20 shots on the Ottawa netminder, but only managed the one tally.  Meanwhile, Tim Thomas barely broke a sweat in the first, being called upon to make only 5 saves.


Again, it was Anderson who stole the show, and if it wasn’t for his heroics this game would have been out of hand by now.  He was aided by the iron on a couple of occasions, including a chance by Chris Kelly.  Kelly then drew a boarding penalty when he turned his back in front of David Rundblad, who didn’t have time to let up on the hit.  Cowen made a nice defensive play to break up a two on one, as Colin Greening gave the puck away just outside his own blue line.  Ottawa was then whistled for another hit from behind as Nick Foligno shoved Zdeno Chara in the numbers and was sent off.  The penalty kills were up to the task, and despite being outshot 30-10 through two periods, Ottawa still trailed Boston by only 1.


The third started out with Ottawa being sloppy once again, as a giveaway by Zach Smith forced Anderson to make another tough save.  Finally, off an innocent looking dump-in, a good forecheck by Colin Greening caused a turnover, and Greening found Daniel Alfredsson in the slot, and the Captain made no mistake in burying the one timer past Thomas.  Jared Cowen put Steve Kampfer out of the game with a solid hit along the boards.  It looked like the hit injured either his groin or knee as he fell awkwardly along the boards.  Mika Zibanejad appeared to have given the Senators a lead, however the goal was called back due to “incidental contact” with the goalie.  The replay showed Greening in the crease, but didn’t appear to interfere with Thomas’ ability to stop the puck.  Anderson made another save on a Daniel Paille breakaway when the Bruin flubbed the shot.  With just under 5:00 left in the frame, Rich Peverly was given a double minor for high sticking.  Patrice Bergeron had the best chance early, as a Milan Michalek turnover at the Boston blue line came back the other way, but again Anderson was up to the task.  Cue the proverbial big save-goal at the other end combo as Rundblad’s blast deflected off Adam McQuaid past a startled teammate Thomas for the game winner.


3.  Mika Zibanejad, OTT:  Showed offensive creativity on a number of occasions and secured at least a look in the regular season

2 Chris Kelly, BOS: Seemed to be everywhere and had his nose in the play all the time.  Created a power play and also rang one off the post.

1. Craig Anderson , OTT:  39 saves, as the uninspired performance left him to fend for himself on too many occasions.


It was a victory, but I don’t think coach Paul MacLean will be happy with too many performances like that over the season.  They can’t afford to subject Anderson to very many 40 shot nights or he will be worn out before Christmas.

This was the final tune up game for the Senators, as they will have a full week off in preparation for the opener on October 7th in Detroit.  The final decisions will be made with regard to roster spots and some decisions might not be popular.  However, some player have disappointed in camp at times, and it will be interesting to see what direction Bryan Murray and MacLean choose to go.  Bubble players like Rundblad (despite his GWG in this game) and DaCosta may have to open the season in the minors and work their way back up later in the season.