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It was a nice day in Boston on Friday. Temperatures reached 60 degrees, which has to get you thinking about spring. If you’re a hockey fan and spring is nearing, that means one thing: it’s time to think about the playoffs.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was in the same mindset Friday, dealing for defeseman Tomas Kaberle and center Rich Peverley in separate deals, and acquiring center Chris Kelly earlier in the week. He now has the Bruins fanbase thinking about April and beyond…and they should.
The Bruins got their first taste of what their new lineup would look like, as both Kaberle and Kelly (against his former team) suited up Friday night against the Senators, one of the league’s worst teams. So, maybe it wasn’t a difficult test, but a test nontheless.
Behind two Brad Marchand goals and some solid goaltending from Tuukka Rask for the second straight night, the Bruins surged past the Sens 4-2 to get win No. 1 in the post-Blake Wheeler era.
Ottawa’s Bobby Butler struck first blood early in the second with his third goal of the season. Brad Marchand answered back minutes later to knot the game 1-1.
The Bruins exploded for three more unanswered goals in the third period, with Nathan Horton (15), Dennis Seidenberg (6, power play), and Marchand again (18) doing the honors. Ottawa’s Alex Kovalev added a goal late, but it was not enough.
Rask had a stellar outing, coming up with several key stops in the first and second periods to keep the Bruins close while they found their chemistry with their new teammates. He finished with 32 saves and earned his second straight victory. He will probably split the remaining games with Tim Thomas to give the veteran some rest before the playoffs.
Kaberle played nearly 20 minutes in his Bruins debut and was the pointman on the power play, his specialty as that long-coveted “puck-moving defenseman.” Fittingly, he’s wearing No. 12 as the “quarterback of the power play.” Oh, I love sports metaphors.
“I got here 20 minutes before warmup and sometimes it’s the best way to do it,” Kaberle said. “All the guys were great to me. It was a big win for us and it makes for an emotional day for me after 13 years in Toronto.”
Peverly should join his new team on Sunday ahead of their game on Tuesday to face the Calgary Flames.