Ottawa -- The Boston Bruins traveled to Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday night to face their Northeast Division rival Ottawa Senators in a game pivotal to playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League.
Surely wanting to make a statement after some recently frenetic outings, the Black & Gold beat the Senators soundly by a score of 7-2 in front of a huge crowd of 19,153 Senators fans at Scotiabank Place.
Bruins left wing Marco Sturm scored three goals to pace the visitors and earned his first hat trick since December 23, 1998.
The first period certainly set the tone as the Bruins put together one of their best sessions of the season.
Sturm (7th, 9:39), Glen Murray (17th, 10:44) and Marc Savard
(10th,18:56) each scored goals to put the Bruins up 3-0 going into the first intermission. B's goalie Tim Thomas
was strong early (and finished the game with 35 saves), and made one truly sublime save on former Boston College Eagle forward turned Ottawa Senator, Partick Eaves, and the well placed rebound led directly to Murray's goal.
But Sturm stole the show, and surely the headlines tomorrow, in the second stanza as the speedy German forward added two more goals (no's 8,9) for the hat trick.
Previously, there had been a bit of a brouhaha when Ottawa's Chris McGrattan hit B's forward Wayne Primeau high earlier in the stanza.
Every skater grabbed a dance partner, but no fisticuffs resulted from the fracas. Both principles were sent to their respective dressing rooms, however, with each player earning 10:00 misconducts among other accoutrements.
The Bruins put their anger into their scoring and went to the dressing room for the break up by 4.
Boston then roared out the locker room in the third period and that resulted in another big goal for Savard (11th, 7:28) -- who was rewarded for his hard work with a cheap shot to the head by Ottawa's Eaves.
Eaves headed to the showers early, however, after being given the heave ho via an elbowing major and a game misconduct (10:08).
Ottawa scored a garbage time goal (Antoine Vermette, 11:34) with the game firmly in Boston's hands, to make the score 6-2.
But local hero Paul Mara scored his first of the year and first as a Bruin to put the B's up by a final score of 7-2.
After the game, Bruins head coach Dave Lewis was pleased about the scoring, but pointed to two other areas of the game as most pivotal.
"I liked our penalty killing," said Lewis. "The first two periods the referees established a standard…and our penalty killers responded.
"One again, the power play was very good, but I am pretty proud of the penalty killing guys."
And Lewis also pointed his praise at Thomas.
was very solid," he said, and added that the goalie "had a terrific effort tonight. He made key saves at key times and gave us a chance to get the lead and keep it going."
Savard was impressed with Thomas, as well.
'Your best penalty killer is your goalie and Timmy was great tonight."Zdeno Chara
, who played in his first game in Ottawa since signing with the Bruins also lauded his goalie.
"Timmy stood on his head," said the captain. "He was making some unreal saves.
"That's what you need…a goalie like that, making key saves in the crucial times of the game.
"You can't ask for better than that," said Chara.
Sure you can -- Patrice Bergeron
had a career game and beyond Sturm's three goals and Savard's two, the most important stat of the night was the young center's line of 0-5-5.
"We were hard on the forecheck and we didn't give them anything in the neutral zone," said the humble forward. "I thought we played a good 60-minute game.
"We were moving the puck very well -- especially on the power play. We were making them make some mistakes.
"Special teams were huge. We played well on the PK and the power play," said Bergeron.
The Bruins hope there are plenty more assists, goals and saves where that came from, as the second and third portions of the Canadian trifecta visit Boston later this week.
The B's return home to the TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday night, the Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens, also at 7:00 p.m. Both games can be seen live on NESN and heard live on WBZ Radio.
Tickets are available for all home games online by clicking here
, at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 617.624.BEAR.