OTTAWA – The Boston Bruins continue to frustrate and dominate the Ottawa Senators in their own building.
Dennis Seidenberg's shot from the right point beat Robin Lehner with 64 seconds left in the third period, as the Bruins beat the Senators 2-1 on Thursday night for their 11th consecutive victory at Scotiabank Place."
The Senators haven't beaten Boston on their own ice since a 3-2 victory on April 7, 2009.
"We don't look at it [as always beating the Senators on the road]," Seidenberg said. "We'd lost the last couple of games, so it's just a matter of us trying to execute. I take every goal I can – it was a nice pass by [Chara] with one minute to go. It was perfect. I don't anyone who wouldn't want those two points."
The win put an end to the Bruins' three-game road skid and handed Ottawa (19-7-3) just its second regulation loss of the season at home. Daniel Paille also scored for the Bruins, while Kaspars Daugavins had the lone goal for the Senators. Anton Khudobin, in his second career start against Ottawa, made 27 saves. Lehner also turned away 27 shots in the loss.
Seidenberg scored his first of the season on a seeing-eye one-timer from the right point. Patrice Bergeron won an offensive-zone draw back to Zdeno Chara, who slipped the puck to Seidenberg. His shot went past a maze of bodies and zipped behind Lehner, who never saw it.
"It came down to a really simple but important play," Chara said. "I don't think it was the hardest shot, but [Lehner] didn't see it and it went in."
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean offered a succinct take on the winning goal: "We screened [Lehner] pretty good."
The Senators were forced to go without Sergei Gonchar for the last 10 minutes of the game, after he left the ice and did not return. The Senators, bogged down with myriad of injured players, are already down two major parts in defense in Erik Karlsson (Achilles) and Marc Methot (knee).
"We're going to evaluate him overnight and see where he is [Friday]," MacLean said. "I don't know if he blocked a shot; I'm not sure what happened. He's got a boo-boo somewhere. I'm not too concerned about it."
Gonchar's teammates hope he's not out for long.
"[Gonchar] has been a huge part of our team, quarterbacking the power play and everything else," Chris Phillips said. "We'll see what we're dealt on [Friday] and move on. With or without him, we have to and hopefully it's not long."
The early minutes of the first period were dominated by neutral zone play -- but the game began to take a physical turn near the middle of the period as Chris Neil leveled Gregory Campbell behind the Ottawa net and drove Aaron Johnson into the corner boards on the same shift.
Ottawa's best chances came in the dying seconds of the first, after Khudobin was forced to stop a flurry of shots. Kyle Turris' backhander from down low rebounded out to Jakob Silfverberg, who took a wrister that was stopped by the left pad of the Bruins' goaltender. The puck then went out to the half-wall, where Silfverberg regained control and skated to the left corner. He fed Patrick Wiercioch, who took a point-blank wrist shot that deflected off of Khudobin's shoulder.
The Senators grabbed the lead early in the second period. Mika Zibanejad drove into the Boston zone and passed off to Daugavins, who sent a high wrister into the top right corner at 4:55. Gonchar picked up the second assist on the goal, giving him assists in a franchise-record nine consecutive games. That broke a tie with Filip Kuba, who had an eight-game assist streak in October 2008.
Ottawa nearly scored again halfway through the period when Zibanejad's backhand shot from the low slot was bobbled by Khudobin. As the puck popped into the air, he snatched it with his glove at the last instant.
Boston got even with 1:22 left in the period after Johnny Boychuk's long lead pass was picked up by Paille at the Ottawa blue line. Paille deked and sent a wrister past the glove of Lehner for his sixth goal of the season.
Prior to loss Thursday night, the Senators had garnered at least one point in 13 of their past 15 games. Phillips admitted that finishing a battle against the Bruins without anything to show for it was frustrating.
"We're trying to win the game," Phillips said. "We're not thinking about overtime; the reality was we were one minute away and we were going to get a point. To come out with nothing is tough."