Boston, MA - Patrice Bergeron
had a goal and an assist and scored the only goal in the shootout as the Bruins downed the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, at the TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday night. Tim Thomas
made 31 saves and turned aside all three shots in the shootout to help Boston secure the extra point. Boston won its first shootout and improved to 4-3 on the season against the Sens.
"I liked them tonight," said a smiling Coach Sullivan, referring to his team's first shootout win of the season. "Our guys did a great job for us tonight and Tim made some great saves in the shootout. We also got a timely effort from Bergeron."
Boston didn't waste any time getting on the board. Just 1:29 in, Brad Boyes knocked in a Bergeron rebound from the side of the goal, No. 18 for the rookie, and gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead.
"I just wanted to throw it on net and I ended up getting lucky," said Boyes. "It squeaked in and I think (Emery) might of tipped it in a little bit going back for it. I was surprised because it was going really slow and I couldn't really see from where I was on the ice. Sturmy came over and tapped me so then I knew it must have gone in."
Bergeron extended the Bruins lead to two goals on a fortuitous goal from behind the net. Bergeron beat Senators netminder Ray Emery to a loose puck behind the net and banked it off of Emery's stick on a shot that was intended to be a pass. Mark Stuart picked up the assist, his first career NHL point.
"I tried to throw it out front to Boysie," said Bergeron. "He was right behind me. I had more speed coming into the zone, so I got to the puck first. I tried to throw it behind me, but I didn't know Emery was behind me and it hit off him and went in. I was surprised, but I will definitely take it."
After a scoreless second period, Ottawa climbed back into the game and spoiled Tim Thomas
' shutout bid in the third. Jason Spezza received a pass in the slot from Dany Heatley and deked Thomas for the score. The goal cut Boston's lead to one at 7:24 of the third.
The Senators tied it at two apiece four minutes later on an Antoine Vermette goal. Bryan Smolinski made a pass out front to Vermette, who beat Thomas to the backhand for his 16th of the season to send the game to an extra session.
The B's had a chance to win in overtime when Bryan Smolinski picked up a double minor for roughing with 3:43 left to play. On the power play, Boston peppered Emery with five shots from point blank range, however, Emery was up to the task and stopped all five shots to force a shootout.
On Boston's first shot in the shootout, Bergeron slipped one past Emery and the goal stood after Thomas stopped Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza to seal the Bruins' win.
"It's been a long time coming," said Thomas in reference to the shootout win. "I guess when you get in enough of them, you're bound to win one of them. Having said that, it's a great feeling. I know exactly what Ottawa is feeling right now, but now I get to feel what the other teams have been feeling against us."
The Bruins will face off against the Eastern Conference-leading Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in a noon matinee at the TD Banknorth Garden.Stuart registers first NHL point
Mark Stuart, who was playing in only his third NHL game, picked up his first career NHL point on an assist from Bergeron's third period goal.
"It was nice to get it," said Mark Stuart. "It was one of those that just kind of falls on your lap. I saw (Ottawa) changing lines, so I just threw it into the zone. It got a lucky bounce and Bergy made a great play to get it to the net."