Washington Capitals' Matt Niskanen (2) is knocked to the ice by Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, April 8, 2017. The veterans took over after that, as the Bruins got the game victor with just under three minutes to go in the game with some tenacious forechecking by the Patrice Bergeron line, a cycle that ended with Brad Marchand potting the game victor to give Boston a one games to none lead.
This was a huge win for Boston, not just because any win in a playoff series is important, but also because a whole bunch of Bruins were playing in their first-ever post-season game, and didn't let the moment overwhelm them.
Boston edged Ottawa, 2-1, in Game 1, which was owned by two solid goaltending performances - specifically Boston's Tuukka Rask. They just need someone to be there just in case yet another blue-liner goes down. The Senators had a number of chances and know if they want to tie the series Saturday afternoon they will need to find a way to bury them. "They continued to push and found a way, and we've got to get back on track and we will".
If you want MORE coverage of your team, check out Bruins Beat Podcast here on CLNS Radio! He and center Patrice Bergeron are peerless when it comes to tilting the shot attempt margin in their team's favor.
"I thought he was terrific", said Boston coach Bruce Cassidy.
"I'll have some nerves, but not a lot", he said after practice Tuesday as his team prepared to travel to Ottawa.
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Leading 1-0 heading into the third after a goal from Bobby Ryan, Ottawa gave up two in the final frame on costly giveaways to lose a crucial home contest, 2-1.
"It's two shifts where we had the puck on many occasions and we had done really well before that in the first two periods so we gave it away", Boucher said. Not only did they pull ahead 1-0, they rebounded from a hard start in the first by holding Boston to no shots in the period. He's played in 90 career playoff games - winning a Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 - and was signed for his experience and leadership.
The New York Rangers spent the last month or so of the season, how shall we say, attempting to massage their record so they could jump to the Atlantic instead of staying in the Metro. "Just out there with a group of guys like that - with a forward line like and with Chara obviously, they were so good at reloading, and we just kept getting puck after puck after puck".
"I do expect them [to play], but I guess we'll have a better idea tomorrow morning". It was nice to get home ice advantage, but we're used to playing on the road, too.
The Ottawa Senators had one goal this season - to make the playoffs. Dominic Moore. The veteran Moore won a battle behind the net and immediately parked himself in front of the net on the Frank Vatrano goal, and absorbed a massive asskicker of a hit from Mark Borowiecki to make the play. Guy Boucher hasn't ruled out altering his forward lines, and a decision on Marc Methot will likely be made after the warm-up. At this point it appears Chris Kelly, Ryan Dzingel, Chris Neil, Colin White and Chris DiDomenico will be the odd-men out.
So here were the Bruins, beset by injuries and sending out a Game 1 lineup that included eight of the 18 skaters making their playoff debuts. The Bruins were without C David Krejci, who was a surprise scratch, D Torey Krug (lower body) and D Brandon Carlo (upper body).