- Dennis Seidenberg
had taken 47 shots this year before No. 48 finally found the back of the net. And it was an important one. His first goal of the season came with 1:04 left in regulation at Scotiabank Place on Thursday night and lifted his Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Senators.
When reporters flooded into the locker room following the victory that snapped a two-game skid for the B's, Seidenberg was happily sporting the team's newly instituted "Player of the Game" red Rooster t-shirt (that Nathan Horton first wore on Saturday following the win over Washington).
"Score a goal - and everyone wants to talk to you…" joked the defenseman, who beat Sens' goaltender Robin Lehner off a shot from the right point that found its way through traffic, just four seconds after Patrice Bergeron won the faceoff cleanly back to Zdeno Chara, who set up Seidenberg with the quick feed.
"Yeah, I'll take every goal," said Seideneberg, on his first of the season. "It was a nice pass by Zee, I just tried to get it on net and the moment of the game was perfect."
"Couldn't be better."
Seidenberg, who always logs big minutes and ended tonight with 22:28 of ice time, doesn't always score goals - but like the way he throws a hit, or blocks a shot, he makes it count and puts it on target.
"Yeah, he hit the net. He didn't think he got all of it, but the fact that it was on net and that we had some traffic, we had the win on the big draw, it gave us the goal," Coach Julien told media postgame, on Seidenberg putting up an important goal.
"He's got a good shot, it was nice to get a couple screens in front of the goalie so he couldn't see it," said Daniel Paille, who also scored a late goal for the B's, his coming at the end of the second to tie it up 1-1. "We won the draw and obviously Seides didn't hesitate to shoot it, perfect shot."
David Krejci, who was back centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton against the Sens after being out since leaving Sunday's game with a lower-body injury, was happy to see his teammate get his first of the season.
"I was really excited, I was even more excited for Seides to get his first of the year," said Krejci following the win. "Good for him, he's got a monkey off his back now. I'm really happy for him, happy that we won."
"Yeah, it's always great when a defenseman can get a big goal, especially like that," added fellow blueliner Aaron Johnson, who has stepped into the lineup with Adam McQuaid out 3-4 weeks following a shoulder strain. "Big win for us."
But it didn't come easy for the Bruins, who had to battle through with a gritty effort late in the game, after not being afforded too many scoring chances and being forced to the perimeter.
"We had to muck it out tonight, we needed that kind of a goal, obviously, to win the game," Coach Julien said of Seidenberg's game-winner. "Like I said, we're hopefully going in the right direction, but we've got to build on that third period."
For the Black & Gold, a strong third-period effort was needed following the first half of March that has featured four more collapses in the final frame than the B's would have liked to see.
"I don't know anybody who wouldn't take those two points and that goal at the end," said Seidenberg. "For us, to win the game and keeping it close and getting a tie in the second period, it was big tonight."
The Senators had gotten on the board first in the second period, when Kaspars Daugavins threw a shot on Anton Khudobin from the left side boards that found its way past his glove, with bodies and sticks flailing in front.
Leave it to the B's to find a way to tie it up with less than two minutes to go in the middle frame. With the B's always placing an emphasis on how to create their own momentum shifts during games, Paille capitalized on an opportunity to do so with just 1:22 left in the second.
As he raced down the left wing, Johnny Boychuk set him up on the counter-attack and with Tyler Seguin tied up on the partial 2-on-1, he opted for the wide shot - and found the back of the net.
"You know what? I think we realized that we were still in the game, it was a tight game, it was difficult to make some plays," said Paille, on the B's effort after they pressed to tied it heading into the third. "I don't think we changed too much in the way that we needed to, we continued to battle and outwork them. We definitely wanted to show that."
"Our motto is, obviously, we didn't want to lose two in a row and we did, now to lose three in a row, we definitely didn't want, so it was good to see the second effort tonight for most of it."
Coach Julien knew his team wasn't performing at their best through the first two periods, but knew the third period, especially after tying it up, would be a great opportunity for his B's to show character and fight back.
"We asked our guys to battle through it. We knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but by battling through it, eventually in the third we seemed to get closer to how we should play and the confidence started coming back," said Coach Julien. "We've kind of got to build on that moving forward. I think this was an important game for us."
"Today was a struggle for all of us, seemed like we didn't really skate that well," Player of the Game Seidenberg acknowledged. "But at the end, it's two points and that's all that counts."