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Thomas, Wheeler Lead Bruins Past Senators 4-1

Mark Recchi celebrates after scoring the Bruins' fourth goal of the game. The Bruins collected four goals in the first period to defeat the Senators 4-1 Tuesday night. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Adrian Wyld)

As if the Bruins didn’t already have the Senators number, they really secured it on Tuesday night. The Boston Bruins earned the victory over the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-1. The Bruins came out on a mission in the first period and scored all four of their goals after Coach Claude Julien challenged some of his players to step their game up.

“I thought we had good battle tonight,” Julien said. “That’s something we’ve been looking for from our team for a while so hopefully we can build on that and not go back to our old ways next game.”

With the win, the Bruins improved to 22-13-7. The Senators, on the other hand, fell to 22-17-4. The Bruins are now 6-3-1 in their past ten games and are ahead of Ottawa in points 51-48. Buffalo leads the Northeast with 56 points.

Bruins’ goalie Tim Thomas was stellar yet again in his efforts against the Senators, stopping 28 of 29 shots on goal. He has won his past 11 games against the team from Ottawa and is 4-0-0 against them this season. His record improved to 12-9-5 on the year.

For the Senators, starting goalie Brian Elliott skated off the ice as he gave up the Bruins’ four goals on 16 shots and was replaced by Pascal Leclaire. Leclaire performed well as he stopped all 19 shots-on-goal he saw for the rest of the game. Elliott, though, saw his record fall to 10-9-3 on the year.

First Period

  • With the game just under way, Blake Wheeler tipped in Andrew Ference’s shot for his ninth goal of the year. Assists were given out to Ference and Johnny Boychuk on the first goal of the night, less than two minutes into the game. Bruins 1-0
  • Less than three minutes later, Ottowa’s Chris Kelly was called for slashing Michael Ryder and the Bruins went on the power play for the first time in the game. Boston capitalized on the opportunity as David Krejci was credited for his eighth goal of the season with assists from Mark Recchi and Wheeler. Bruins 2-0
  • Five minutes after going up by 2 goals, Wheeler tacked on his 10th goal of the season to give Boston the 3-0 lead. Krejci was credited with the assist. Bruins 3-0
  • With just over six minutes left in the period, Recchi netted his ninth goal of the season. The Bruins were on the power play as Peter Reginwas called for hooking Krejci. Boychuk and Derek Morris were each given an assist on the play. Bruins 4-0
  • Then, that is when the fighting started. Down by four goals in the first period, Matt Carkner of the Senators tried to get his team back into the game by picking a fight with former Senator Zdeno Chara. Carkner received four minutes for roughing while Chara and Steve Begin each got two minutes.
  • The fighting continued as Boston’s Vladimir Sobotka and Ottawa’s Milan Michalek threw down the gloves at the end of the period. Each player received four minutes for roughing.

Second Period

  • Maybe it was all the fighting that got the Senators back into the game, as Filip Kuba of Ottawa gave his team their first goal of the night. The Senators were on the power play as Wheeler was called for boarding a minute and a half into the period. Kuba’s third goal of the season was assisted by Nick Foligno and Alexei Kovalev. Bruins 4-1
  • With less than seven minutes left in the period, Shawn Thornton decided to get even with Carkner as they both squared off in a fight of their own. Both players received five minutes in the penalty box for fighting.

Third Period

  • With the game almost wrapped up, Chris Neil of Ottawa and Boychuk got into a scuffle of their own. Each player received 10 minutes in the penalty box for misconduct.

Wheeler had a lot to say after the game and he knows that his team needs to continue playing this way if they want to get better as the season goes on.

“Character’s more than just coming back and tying games when you’re down by two,” Wheeler said. “It’s about coming to the rink and playing every game like it’s the most meaningful game of the year and right now we’re getting to that point where you’ve got to be firing on all cylinders to get where you want to be and I think that’s the message, that we’ve got to bring it every night if we want to get where we want to go.”

The Bruins will next play the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Thursday night.

Game Notes

  • The Bruins came out on Tuesday night with something to prove, mainly on the offensive end. They were able to have 35 shots-on-goal, compared to the Senators’ 28.
  • Boston was able to pull off two goals on their five power play opportunities while limiting Ottawa to just one goal in five chances.
  • The Senators had the advantage in hitting with 26 hits to the Bruins’ 20.
  • Faceoffs were fairly even as the Senators won 30 and the Bruins won 29.
  • Both teams racked up the penalty minutes in this one, but Ottawa barely beat out Boston 35-33 for the most penalty minutes in the game.
  • Miroslav Satan played 14 minutes in his first game for the Bruins after signing as a free agent on Sunday. He had one shot-on-goal and earned a +2 rating in the game.
  • The Bruins received good word on Patrice Bergeron, who will be out only two weeks with a broken thumb, compared to the six weeks he could’ve missed.

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