|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Something tells me if the Ottawa Senators had Scott Brown in goal and Martha Coakley centering the top forward line, they still would have beat the poop out of the Bruins today.
After winning the first four meetings of the season over Ottawa, the Bruins got their butts whipped at the TD Garden Monday afternoon, 5-1, highlighted by a hat trick from Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson.
The Bruins, who were returning home from a three-game West Coast road trip that saw them post a 1-1-1 record, were hoping that a little home-ice advantage could do some good for their bruised and battered roster. Boston did welcome back center Patrice Bergeron to the lineup for the game, but were without the services of three other forwards, as Marco Sturm, Byron Bitz, and Steve Begin all missed Monday’s action with various injuries.
Because of the many holes to fill, Boston was forced to call up winger Drew Larman to make his Bruins debut. Larman played on the fourth line with Shawn Thornton and Vladimir Sobotka.
Boston fell behind early in this one when Ottawa’s Alex Kovalev lit the lamp, shoveling a backhander past starting goalie Tim Thomas to give the Sens a 1-0 lead. Ottawa would add to that lead before the first period was through when Daniel Alfredsson would one-time a slapper from the right circle past Thomas to double Ottawa’s lead to 2-0. The Sens managed only three shots in the first 20 minutes, yet two of them found their way past Thomas, who was clearly off his game.
Ottawa’s next goal chased Thomas from the game, when Alfredsson tipped the puck in to give his team a three-goal advantage. Thomas left the game, as he was pulled in favor of Tuukka Rask. Just over three minutes later, the Sens captain would complete his hat trick on the power play, hammering in a slap shot from the point to give Ottawa a 4-0 advantage after two.
The Bruins finally put a goal up on the board early in the third when Daniel Paille found the back of the net for his sixth goal on the year. Ottawa added another one of their own before play was through when former Shark Jonathan Cheechoo wristed one past Rask to give us our final score, 5-1.
With the win, Ottawa ties Boston for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, at 54 points. Boston does have two games in hand over the Sens.
From here, the Bruins take two days to regroup before hosting the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets at the Garden Thursday evening. On Saturday afternoon, these same Senators will return to Boston to finish the season series with the Bruins.