OTTAWA, Ont. - Dominik Hasek made 34 saves on 35 shots and registered his 300th career win as the Ottawa Senators beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 Saturday night at the Corel Centre. Ottawa remained the only unbeaten team in the Eastern Conference at 5-0-0, while the loss ended Boston's three-game win streak. Boston will look to get back to its winning ways when they face the Montreal Canadiens next Tuesday, the final game of their current six-game road trip.
The Senators are considered by many to be one of the top teams in the NHL and it was easy to see why. First period shots had the teams even at 12 apiece, but Ottawa controlled the pace and was able to put together consistent offensive pressure from the opening stretch to the final buzzer.
“You’ve got to be disciplined against this team,” said Coach Mike Sullivan following the loss. “They don’t take very many penalties themselves, and if you take penalties against them, they’re going to make you pay the price and that was the case tonight.
“We’re disappointed in the loss tonight, but I think our team has competed pretty hard on this trip and we’ve just got to continue to get back at it,” continued Sullivan. “We’ve got to go home tonight and prepare for Montreal on Tuesday.”
Chris Neil put the Senators on top 1-0, scoring a power play goal at 11:15. At 15:30, Ottawa extended their lead to 2-0 as Antoine Vermette fired a quick wrist shot from the top of the circle, finishing a 2-on-1 with linemate Martin Havlat. Sergei Samsonov had the Bruins best scoring opportunity of the period, beating goalie Dominik Hasek on the shot, but the puck deflected off of the post. Ottawa skated into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Ottawa took control of the period, scoring two unanswered goals and extending their lead to 4-0. Brandon Bochenski scored his first career NHL goal at 11:44 and Anton Volchenkov beat Andrew Raycroft at 12:59 to round out the scoring in the period. After Ottawa’s fourth goal, Hannu Toivonen replaced Raycroft in net for Boston. Raycroft finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots.
Ottawa’s Bryan Smolinski began the third period scoring at 2:01, adding to the Senators lead. 59 seconds later, Boston would break up Hasek’s shutout bid and get on the board. Brad Isbister attacked the Senators net from the outside wing, and Pat Leahy pounced on the rebound to beat Hasek. Toivonen was solid in net through the remainder of the game, making 14 saves, but it was too little, too late as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Bruins, 5-1.
Nick Boynton returned to the ice for Boston, making his 2005-06 debut after signing a one-year contract with the Bruins on Thursday. Boynton logged 24 shifts and 18:13 of ice time in the game.
“It obviously didn’t go very well, but I felt alright,” said Boynton. “I cost the team a few goals, but it’s a tough team to start against, and I’ll be all the better for it and Montreal will be much better, I’m sure.”