BOSTON, MA – With a little under eight minutes left in Game 7 and the score tied 1-1, Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was without his stick as he tried to help kill a Washington Capitals power play.
Getting off the ice wasn’t an option. Instead, the Bruins veteran defenseman occupied the shooting lane and kicked away a pass from Mike Green, which was on it’s way to a cocked-and-ready Alex Ovechkin.
“I saw Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] winding up for a [blocked] shot and most of the times they are looking for the winger, I think it was [Alexander] Ovechkin,” Seidenberg recalled. “And we are watching a lot of video and we know their tendencies and all you do is try to keep yourself in a shooting lane and try and block that shot and that’s what happened, I got lucky.”
The play preserved the B’s chance to keep the season alive, but only until Joel Ward buried a rebound 2:57 into overtime to give the Capitals a 4-3 victory and a ticket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
In a matter of seconds, Seidenberg’s play epitomized the warrior-like effort he put forward in the 2012 playoffs.
In seven games, Seidenberg landed 29 hits (most of them on Ovechkin) and blocked 16 shots, including five in Game 7.
“Dennis has been good for us in all the playoff series from the past, and, again, this one here,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said. “As I said, he’s such a well-tuned athlete and in great shape, and you can’t tire him out. He plays big, he plays strong, and he loves those kinds of challenges. So, you know, it’s unfortunate, we probably needed more players like him.”
Seideneberg and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara were tasked with slowing down Ovechkin and his linemates Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer, and did so effectively despite the outcome of the series.
That said, the Bruins defensive efforts were flexed throughout the entire series, as every game in was decided by one goal – the first time that’s happened in NHL history.
“We totally took them serious,” Seidenberg said. “We knew how explosive they are offensively and how solid they are defensively.
“They were set to play a solid game, they seem to take out speed away pretty well all throughout the ice and that’s what made it hard for us to penetrate on the outside or even to the middle with speed into their offensive zone.”
Undoubtedly, disappointment was spread around the B’s locker room after the loss.
But when pressed on the entire outlook of the season, Seidneberg was able to pull the positives.
“I mean you always keep rolling with the team when you go through adversity,” Seidenberg said. “Especially like Zee [Zdeno Chara] said, we had tough times we battled through them. The only thing you can take out of it is, you get an experience and hope to do better the next time it comes around, so that’s about it.”