By John Bishop, BostonBruins.comBoston --
The Bruins fell to the Ottawa Senators Saturday night, 3-0, in front of a sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD Banknorth Garden. Ottawa goalie Ray Emery made 18 saves to stymie the B's en route to a shutout.
"We just had no energy," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. We had no legs.
"The guys tried -- they tried really hard to find something."
But there was nothing there.
"It was one of those nights that nothing was going right," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
. "We were really flatfooted."
Prior to the game, the Bruins came into Saturday night with hockey history on their side.
The Bruins were 3-1-0 versus Ottawa in this season’s series and the Black & Gold had also won their last five games against the Senators in Boston.
The key stat before the game: Boston came into the contest 6-1-0-1 in their last eight games overall vs. the Senators.
Boston starter, goalie Hannu Toivonen, who stopped 36 shots in the loss, took that historical precedent and skated with it in the early going.
"We didn't get too many breaks," said the goalie. "Overall, we tried really hard…it was just a really tough day."
Toivonen knows of which he speaks as the Senators had 15 first period shots on the young Finnish netminder and, thankfully for the Bruins, Toivonen was up to the task on 14 of them.
But an attempt from Ottawa's Peter Schaeffer, from the point, bounced awkwardly and after hitting a Bruin defender in front, traveled toward the completely opposite side of Boston's net. Toivonen, dove in desperation to make the adjustment in time, but Senator defenseman Chris Phillips shot and scored into a yawning net at 17:16.
The second period heated up quickly as fisticuffs erupted between Paul Mara and Christoph Schubert after a questionable hit by the later. Schubert was given a major for boarding, while Mara was given a two-minute instigating penalty, five-minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct at 3:46.
"I just decided to do what a player has to do out there," said Mara of his decision to take on Schubert. "If it happened again I would probably do the same thing."
"It's part of the game, it happens, and we killed the penalty afterward."
Following the fight, however, the game settled back into a goaltending show by Toivonen, who was tested time and again by the Senators.
"Hannu was the bright star of the game," said Lewis. "He gave us a chance to get back even."
But Dany Heatley scored off of a rebound to put the Senators up 2-0 at 15:03 of the middle stanza.
The end of the period got scary for the home squad as defenseman Andrew Alberts was given a boarding penalty and a game misconduct at 18:46. After the play Marc Savard
was also assessed a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, which resulted in an Ottawa 5-on-3 power play.
"Alberts hit was borderline," said Mara. "But that's the way things have been going for us."
"I don't think he should have been thrown out of the game by any means," said Lewis. "The one that bothered me was the guy hitting Paul Mara, cross checking him from behind…I thought that was a lot more severe."
Having survived the Ottawa two-man advantage, Boston was still behind the eight ball in the third period and scrambled to find a way to turn the momentum in their favor.
It was not to be, however, and the Senators retained control of the game until Ottawa's Heatley scored into the empty net to make the score 3-0 at 19:31 of the third period to ice the victory for the visitors.
"They played a structured game," said Lewis. "We just couldn’t get out of that funk."
Boston does not play again until next Saturday, January 27, at 3:00 p.m. (please note the time change) in Ottawa.