By Jeremy LemoineBoston, MA -
Brad Boyes scored a late power play goal to help power the Boston Bruins past the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Garden. Andrew Raycroft entered the game in the third period and made 12 saves to preserve the win for the B's, after replacing Hannu Toivonen. Toivonen left the game with an ankle injury suffered at the end of the second period.
The Bruins power play, which was 6 for its last 69 entering the game, was 2-for-6 on the night and the difference in the game.
"I wish our power play worked that way all the time," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "Certainly, it's something that we try to pay attention to because it can be the difference maker in games. Special teams are so important and we created some opportunities on the power play tonight I thought. I also thought we had more zonetime against a team that's pretty good on their penalty kill."
After a scoreless first period, Ottawa broke the tie at 5:07 of the second when Chris Neil tipped home a Wade Redden shot from the point. Neil took the initial shot from in front, but Toivonen made the save. Redden collected the puck at the point and fired a shot that Neil was able to redirect for his 11th of the season.
Only 28 seconds later, Boston responded with a goal of their own. Patrice Bergeron
played the puck off the back boards and fed Marco Sturm in front. Hasek made the stop on Sturm, but Glen Murray was able to put the rebound past him. The goal was Murray's 14th of the year.
Boston took the 2-1 lead with a power play goal at 6:40. With Ottawa's Chris Philips in the box for interference, Patrice Bergeron
won the face off and made a pass to Brian Leetch at the point. Leetch slid the puck over to Brad Stuart, who one-timed the puck past Hasek for his fifth of the year.
At the end of the second period, Hannu Toivonen injured his ankle and could not return to the game. He finished with 22 saves, before Andrew Raycroft came in.
"I thought Andrew (Raycroft) did a terrific job coming in under a real difficult circumstance," added Sullivan about Raycroft filling in for the injured Toivonen. "That's a tough position to come in, in the third period in such a tight game. That's so important to our team, especially against one of the tougher teams in the league. I thought he made some big saves for us when he needed to and he gave our team the chance to win. It should be a real boost for him. I thought he did a terrific job."
At 10:42 of the third period, the Senators Mike Fisher stripped the puck from Sturm in the neutral zone and went in all alone on Raycroft. Fisher beat Raycroft glove side for his 13th of the season and tied the game at 2-2.
Brad Boyes responded with the second power play goal of the game at 13:10. David Tanabe took a pass from Alex Zhamnov and dished it off to Boyes upon entering the Ottawa zone. From the right circle, Boyes sent a slap shot in that beat Hasek to the stick side.
"Tanabe made a great play," said Boyes. "I was skating hard up ice and I just wanted to post up and give him an option. Then he gave me the puck. He went to the net so I just wanted to get it to the net and create a rebound or something and I got lucky."
Travis Green added the empty net goal with 11 ticks left on the clock to seal the 4-2 win.
The Bruins will play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. The game was changed from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. so Boston sports fans can enjoy both the Bruins game and the first New England Patriots playoff game.