We expected a back and forth battle between these two teams, and it didn’t disappoint. This was more a goalie battle; Anderson stopping 20-22 shots, while on the other side Rask stopped 25-26 shots. The star of the night, however, went to Brad Marchand who scored with little over 2 minutes to play in regulation. Vatrano also got a goal early on in the 3rd period to tie this game up. The Bruins went on to win this game 2-1 and take Game 1.
The first period was basically back and forth; missed opportunities, sloppy play, and overall just good goal-tending. The second period, however, didn’t favor the Bruins at all. A defensive breakdown allowed Bobby Ryan to score an easy goal on Rask and the Bruins were down 1-0 in the middle of period 2. To make matters worse for the Bruins, they didn’t record a single shot on net that period; 0 shots. Some thought that would effect them in the 3rd period, but that wasn’t the case. Marchand and Vatrano were both able to net one and helped the Bruins take Game 1 in this heavily contested match-up.
A lot of credit has to go to Tuukka Rask, he really kept the Bruins in this game. Though he gave up that one goal in the 2nd, you really can’t blame him on that one; the defense broke down and gave Ryan a clean shot against Rask. But other than that he was lights out; shutting down breakaways, not letting up easy goals, and playing smart and staying in net (he likes to skate away from the net sometimes).
As for injuries, Colin Miller got hurt early on in this game. He was off and on the ice, but in the 3rd it was reported that he wasn’t on the bench. Meaning the Bruins only played with 5 healthy defensemen this game; which needs to be addressed next game.
We knew that Ottawa was going to be a fight, and tonight proved that. The offense has had better nights, but in the end they got the job done. They’re facing a tough goaltender, if anything nothing is going to come easy. The real problem right now is the defense; with Miller’s status uncertain, we don’t know if he’ll be out next game and if so who will fill that role. We’ve already brought up McAvoy; who played 24 minutes tonight, second most on defense behind Chara (who looked winded that entire game).
The Bruins head into Game 2 with a 1-0 lead and hope to bring that momentum from Game 1. Bruins get 2 days off to rest and prepare for Ottawa; they face again on April 15th at 3:00pm.