Ottawa - December 15, 2011 - Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas stole the show tonight as the Boston Bruins defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at Scotiabank Place. Thomas made 47 saves on the night, many of them great scoring chances as the Bruins extended their winning streak over Ottawa to six games.
For the second night in a row the Senators got off to a fast start but found themselves behind at the end of the first period after Rich Peverly scored his sixth goal of the season to give the Bruins the 1-0 lead.
The Senators again were plauged by bad giveaways and getting caught in the wrong position. With the Senators down 2-1 and pressing in the third, Daniel Alfredsson, who is usually one of the most dependent Senators, passed the puck back into his own zone right into the feet of Erik Karlsson were it was turned over to Patrice Bergeron who raced in all alone and beat Craig Anderson with a nice deke.
Just 56 seconds later, David Runblad turned the puck over in the Bruins zone and Erik Karlsson was caught flat footed as Sean Thornton passed to Daniel Paille put him on a breakaway and giving the Bruins an insurmountable 4-2 lead.
Giveaways have plauged the Senators of late and against the Stanley Cup Champions you cannot afford to caught up the puck. The Bruins, although outshot and outplayed are opportunistic and take advantage of their opportunites. That’s what good teams do. The Senators have to do a better job of protecting the puck.
To say Tim Thomas was great was an understatement. It’s not too often that a team wins 5-2 and the goaltender is the top star of the game but that’s what happened tonight. Thomas has the Senators number, winning his seventh straight game in Ottawa against the Senators. His save on Colin Greening early in the game was fantastic and set the tone for the rest of the game. Thomas looked in Vezina and playoff form tonight and once the Bruins scored the first goal of the game you could just see the Senators heads drop on the bench, knowing how big the task was.
Thomas bounced back from a bad outing in Columbus with a solid effort. The Senators outshot the Bruins 22-10 in the third period, when the Bruins were nursing a 2-1 lead. Aside from Jason Spezza’s goal, Thomas was excellent moving laterally and his vision and anticipation were great. If only the Senators had a goalie of Thomas’s talent, we could have another 8-10 points in the standings.
Randy McQuaid should get a suspension for kneeing Nick Foligno in the second period. Foligno managed to return to the game but the kneeing was intentional and it was great to see the referees give McQuaid a five minute penalty and ejecting him from the game. The ejection triggers an automatic review by the NHL. Even Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t argue on the play.
Jason Spezza had a good game tonight with a goal and an assist on a great pass to Daniel Alfredsson.
Neither of the two breakaway goals scored by the Bruins could be blamed on goaltender Craig Anderson. In fact on four of the five Bruins goals, Anderson was left by himself with little help.
Loved the energy shown by the Senators in the last two games. Both games they dominated the opponents and deserved a better fate tonight. Next up the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.