BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins' top-ranked penalty kill showed it could bounce back, and that paid off in a big home win after a successful stretch of road games.
Although the Ottawa Senators snapped the Bruins' streak of 27 straight penalty kills by scoring the tying goal in the second period Thursday night, Boston killed off its next penalty and kept the game alive long enough for Patrice Bergeron to get the game-winning goal in overtime of a 2-1 win at TD Garden.
Bergeron tipped Dennis Seidenberg's shot through Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner's 5-hole at 3:38 of the extra session. The Bruins have won five in a row after they won their previous four games away from Boston. Ottawa's winning streak ended at five.
"We're obviously happy that we found a way, but we're not satisfied that's for sure," Bergeron said after Boston outshot Ottawa, 46-31. "It could have been a lot better, and I think Ottawa played a great game and kept us to the outside, but still, for us, we need to work harder to get to the front and to get to the loose pucks and to rebounds."
Jim O'Brien pulled the Senators even at 14:38 of the second period when he ended a goalmouth scramble with his fifth goal of the season. The Bruins' penalty kill had been riding a streak of perfection dating to Feb. 6, and it didn't allow the failure to snowball.
With 32 seconds left in regulation, Boston forward Milan Lucic was caught closing his hand on the puck behind the Ottawa net after a rush down ice. With Lucic in the box, the Bruins killed off the final ticks, then the rest of the penalty in the always-dangerous 4-on-3 in overtime.
"Well we were just trying to deny, I guess, their ... trying to read what their play is, and I think we were doing a good job of that," Bergeron said. "I think we were finding who's the dangerous guy and what they're trying to accomplish out there and it's about communicating and reading and having some good sticks. It doesn't have to always be your body in front of the lane, but also your sticks have got to take the seams and all that."
Lucic said, "It was more of a reaction thing than anything. I kind of forgot about it. But obviously it was kind of bad timing for it but it was still good to see the guys step up and kill it off in the end."
Lehner made his first NHL start of the 2013 season after Ben Bishop had won his past four starts for the Senators. Lehner shut out the Bruins with 32 saves on the exact date, in the same building, exactly one year ago. Lehner continued his dominance and ran his shutout streak against Boston dating to 2011 to 89:45.
"Yeah, I thought we played a really good road game. It's really hard to win in this building," Lehner said. "They are a great team over there and I think it was a very good game, a hard game from both sides. One point, it's not positive but it's still one point. One point is always good, but you always want to take the two points and today wasn't the day."
Nathan Horton finally solved Lehner at 5:48 of the second period on what the wing called a "muffed" shot. He drove down the slot on a give-and-go with Dougie Hamilton. Horton didn't get much stick on the puck, but it found its way under Lehner and into the goal.
"The first one was kind of a misread, it was coming back slow," Lehner said. "I thought my player in front was going to take it, so reflex for me is to go up. It went through and I couldn't recover down. I need to work on that, I don't like letting goals in like that. Being a goalie that happens, I try to bounce back and do the best I can."
With a 13-2-2 record, the Bruins have 28 points in the standings and are off to their best 17-game start since they accumulated 30 points in the 1929-30 season.
|Power Play %||21.2%||32.3%|
|% on Road||32.0%||30.0%|
|% at Home||14.6%||34.4%|
|Rich Peverley Tripping against Dave Dziurzynski|
|Dave Dziurzynski Interference on goalkeeper against Tuukka Rask|
|Chris Bourque Hooking against Erik Condra|
|Sergei Gonchar Hooking against David Krejci|
|Chris Bourque Interference against Jakob Silfverberg|
|Shawn Thornton Too many men/ice - bench|
|Erik Condra Tripping against Andrew Ference|
|Milan Lucic Closing hand on puck|