Kyle Turris scored two goals, including the game-winner with four minutes gone in the third period, as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Bruins 3-2 on Tuesday night in a pivotal contest with huge playoff implications.
The Bruins have now dropped three straight, with back-to-back losses on consecutive nights to the team above them (Ottawa) and below them (Toronto) in the tight race for the postseason.
The loss puts Boston six points behind Ottawa for second place in the Atlantic Division, and just one point ahead of Toronto for third place. The B’s are a combined 0-7-0 this season against those two teams, with all seven losses coming in regulation.
Boston was fighting from behind all game long, as the Senators took an early 1-0 lead just 4:09 into the first period. A slap shot from defenseman Cody Ceci deflected off the skate of forward Tom Pyatt past B’s goalie Tuukka Rask for Ottawa’s first lead of the contest.
Ottawa received a two-minute penalty for too many men on the ice to end their own power play at the eight-minute mark of the first, and after the 4-on-4 ended, the Bruins’ power play produced yet again.
David Backes and Frank Vatrano broke the puck up ice for a 2-on-2 bid which was denied by Senators’ netminder Craig Anderson. The Bruins regained possession, and patiently worked the puck around the umbrella until David Krejci unleashed a slap shot from the center of the blue line that found its way past Anderson to make it 1-1. The goal was Krejci’s 21st of the season, with Ryan Spooner (26th assist) and Torey Krug (41st assist) picking up points on the tying goal.
Ottawa’s power play unit responded during the early portion of the second period, with Turris picking up the first of his two goals just 1:34 into the middle frame. With Adam McQuaid in the box for tripping, Erik Karlsson earned his 52nd assist of the year when he set up Turris for a one-timer slap shot that beat Rask to give the Senators their second lead of the night.
Tempers flared at the end of the second period, with Dion Phaneuf picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the horn blew. With both Vatrano and Ceci already in the box for another minute-plus, the B’s went on a 4-on-3 to start the third period. That man advantage lasted just 17 seconds, with Krug showing off his offensive skills on a beautiful end-to-end goal to tie the game at 2-2.
Unfortunately for the B’s, their momentum ended relatively quickly after Krug’s terrific goal, as the Senators struck for the winning goal during the vulnerable minute after a B’s penalty had expired.
Boston killed off a two-minute slashing penalty given to Dominic Moore, but could not get the puck out of their own zone with five men on the ice. The Sens peppered Rask with shots during and after the power play, with Turris notching his second goal of the night on a tip-in from Phaneuf in front of Rask from the high slot. The goal gives Turris 25 goals this season, and he is just one goal away from his career high of 26 from the 2013-14 season.
Anderson made 34 saves in the win, which was his third straight victory over the B’s this season. Ottawa has now won five games in a row against Boston, and the two teams will face each other yet again on April 6th in the next-to-last game of the season for the Bruins.
Boston’s most important week of the season continues on Thursday night with a home tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts are five points behind Boston in the standings, and have a game in hand over the B’s. Puck drop will be at 7pm at TD Garden.
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