NHL Boston Bruins

Two Slow-Moving Goals Push Boston Bruins to Extend Win Streak

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

If you were to take out a standard radar speed gun and measure the speeds of all three goals scored in the Feb. 28 meeting of the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, it would be surprising if any of them came up very fast at all. But a goal is a goal, no matter how slowly it slithers across the line, and the Bruins scored two slow-moving tallies to win 2-1 in overtime. The Senators’ five-game win streak was snapped while the Bruins built up their own five-game win streak.

The first period, though at times unexciting, did have some good effort right at the start and included two more successful Bruins penalty kills. But there were times when TD Garden seemed a little too quiet and the team on the ice a little less than what they could be. In fact, after the game, Tuukka Rask said that he felt the team in front of him didn’t have their feet tonight, but still found a way to win.

So Nathan Horton decided to wake up the home ice with his seventh goal of the season about six minutes into the second period. He did just that, then kept taking chances, at times getting very close to putting up another on the night. He was one of three players to take four shots on goal–the others were Brad Marchand and Chris Bourque, the latter of whom may have been trying to make up for taking two penalties.

But every streak ends eventually. Unfortunately for the Bruins, their extremely good penalty kill came to an end in the dying seconds of a late second-period shorthanded situation brought about by a too many men call. It was a messy goal. Rask had it on the first attempt, but then on the rebound, he was slightly out of position and his teammates didn’t bail him out, simple as that. Here’s a positive way to look at it: the team still kills 93.9 percent of its penalties, which is still best in the NHL.

The team did have problems using rebounds, even when Robin Lehner gave up the juiciest of them. It’s always one of those what-if type things–what if someone had been right there, what if someone else could help clean up the trash? That was frustrating to watch. That’s not to say that Boston wasn’t trying to put more pucks past Lehner, though. In total, the Bruins took 46 shots on goal to Ottawa’s 31, though this includes overtime as well.

Former Senator Chris Kelly tried very hard against his last team. He had three shots on goal, including one breakaway attempt when Lehner was very far out of his net. That attempt quite nearly worked, but fell just short.

Also frustrating was the closing hand on puck penalty Milan Lucic took very late in the third period. Thankfully, the Bruins were able to kill the penalty, even when it stretched into overtime and resulted in some stress-inducing four-on-three play.

It was during this overtime period that Dennis Seidenberg slung the puck towards the net and Patrice Bergeron got in on it just before–well, then it got interesting. The puck slipped right past Lehner, then over the goal line and was actually pushed in even further by Lehner himself, trying to make a desperation save. Marchand, who tried to poke it in deeper to help his linemate, was the first one to call it like it was, flailing his arm around to try to get the call.

Then came the confusion: the goal horn, but the on-ice call being no goal and the Bruins celebrating, but having to temper it by waiting for the review up in Toronto. The review didn’t take long, though, and Bergeron’s fourth goal of the season was the overtime game-winner.

Still, the Bruins themselves admit that they sometimes weren’t at their best, which can be of concern considering how hectic their schedule is about to get when the calendar flips to March. But maybe they can use this slow-goal win to boost their energy and bring it big time against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Emma Harger is a Boston Bruins and NHL writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and add her to your network on Google.