For a defensive-minded team, the last two weeks have been out of character for the Boston Bruins. Unfortunately, they'll have to wait another two and a half weeks before they can hit the ice again.
The second line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Reilly Smith combined for three goals and five assists in Boston's 7-2 rout of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon. The game was the last for both teams before the NHL's Olympic break, with the B's next playing on February 26th. The Bruins go into the lengthy break as one of the hottest teams in the league, going 8-1-2 in their last 11 games and scoring 35 goals in their last eight contests.
Bergeron notched two goals and an assist, Marchand had a goal and two assists, and Smith had two assists for Boston. Jarome Iginla (a goal and an assist), Carl Soderberg (a goal and an assist), Loui Eriksson (two assists) and David Krejci (two assists) also had multiple-point games for the B's. Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly scored for the Bruins, who roughed up both Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, as Anderson started in net for Ottawa but was pulled in the third period for Lehner. Anderson had 28 saves on 33 shots, while Lehner stopped seven of nine shots he faced in the third period.
Boston started the scoring with a beautifully executed power play goal. David Warsofsky left the puck behind the Boston net for fellow defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who found Loui Eriksson up ice. Eriksson made a quick backhand pass to Bergeron at center ice, with Bergeron hitting Soderberg right before he hit the Senators' blue line. Soderberg made a slick pass back to Bergeron, who was open in front of Anderson for a quick wrist shot into the Ottawa net. All five Bruins touched the puck in the play, with the quickness of passes leading to a give-and-go for the power play goal and the early lead.
After Chris Kelly scored late in the first to make it 2-0, Bergeron added another highlight-reel goal to give the Bruins an insurmountable lead. Brad Marchand took the puck from the Bruins' end and quickly worked his way into the Ottawa zone, with Bergeron and Reilly Smith pressing forward. Marchand sent a cross-ice pass to Bergeron, who skated in on Anderson. Bergeron faked Anderson out, who came way out of his net, leaving Bergeron to skate around the Ottawa goalie and put an easy backhand into the vacated goal.
Ottawa's Bobby Ryan scored with 2:45 left in the second period to cut the Boston lead to 3-1, but it only took the B's a minute to regain their three-goal lead. Milan Lucic took the puck behind the Ottawa net before finding Torey Krug just inside the zone. Krug passed the puck to David Krejci, who was to the right of Anderson with Jarome Iginla directly in front of the goalie. Krejci waited for the Ottawa defense to clear a passing lane and fed Iginla for a tip-in goal.
Krejci added another assist on the fifth Bruins' goal, giving him 37 assists and 50 points on the season. He is currently 10th in the league in assists, 25th in points scored, and tied for 6th in plus/minus rating with a +25 on the year. The Bruins have five players in the top 13 in plus/minus rating, with Johnny Boychuk second in the league at +27, Iginla and Bergeron tied with Krejci at +25 and Marchand is 13th at +23.
Milan Lucic scored with 3:35 elapsed in the third period, giving the Bruins a 5-1 lead and ending the night for Craig Anderson. Robin Lehner came in and surrendered two more goals to Brad Marchand and Carl Soderberg to round out the scoring for the Bruins. Ottawa's Patrick Wiercioch scored a power-play goal with just under five minutes left for the second Senators goal.
Chad Johnson started in net for the Bruins and improved his home record to a perfect 6-0-0 on the season. He stopped 26 of Ottawa's 28 shots, and has won 11 of his 14 starts backing up Tuukka Rask in the Bruins' goal.