Pregame in Ottawa: Depth, Simple Game Keys for B's
Boston builds on full-60 consistency, four-line effort heading into tonight vs Sens
In preparation for the second of five meetings (and first of two in Ontario) with the Senators on the season, all of the Bruins took the ice in Ottawa this morning around 11:30 a.m. at Scotiabank Place.
The match-up tonight will involve the East’s best road team in the Bruins (8-1-2) against the best home team in the Sens (9-1-2). The B’s come in having won two straight - a 4-2 win over Toronto on Thursday and 3-0 shutout of the Flyers on Saturday - after the minor two-game setback.
Though Ottawa is 6-2-2 in their last 10, they lost four straight on the road before a 3-2 win over the Rangers at MSG gave their ever-changing, injury-ridden lineup some life heading into tonight.
During line rushes for the Bruins at morning skate, the lineup looked the same as on Saturday against Philly. Tuukka Rask was first off at skate and as such, I’ll expect to see him between the pipes tonight, coming off his 3-0 shutout on Saturday, opposite Robin Lehner (who confirmed following his team's morning skate he’ll be in goal for the Sens).
Lighter Side: As per usual, the B’s gathered for team stretch at center ice before breaking up to work on different aspects of their game (faceoffs, point shots, etc.) In opposing rinks where B’s once played, those players usually get summoned to lead the stretch - though today, Chris Kelly had to give Zee a little prodding before he joined his ex-Sen at center ice….
Projected Boston lineup from morning skate:
Though Jay Pandolfo also rotated in on the Kelly line, it looks as though Caron may have earned his spot alongside the center and Rich Peverley with his solid season debut on Saturday, in which he showed off his big frame and strong forechecking, and battled hard in the corner to set up Kelly for his second of the season to give the B's a 2-0 lead, en route to their 3-0 win over Philadalephia.
Building Off Kelly, Paille Scoring
"It's great," said Brad Marchand of the the B's depth contributing, namely, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille getting goals last game. "We need every line to contribute in all aspects of the game. For Jordy to come in and play the way he did and set up that nice goal for Kells. Piesy, Soupy, and Thorty, another great goal. That's what we need, we need everyone to contribute and we're lucky to have the depth that we do."
"I think we have the depth for that, that's really important to see," Bergeron added, on the B's ability to get scoring from all lines. "I'm not really surprised, I know they're great players, we just need to keep that going."
The Bruins will be looking to get contributions from all lines yet again tonight against Ottawa, a team that matched up fairly well in Boston last time, but fell just short in OT in a game that didn't really see any highlight reel goals. The B's can also build on maintaining their three-goal lead versus Philly, and their ability to maintain their game for all three periods.
"I think it was good, given the fact that we had the lead in Washington and it got away from us. I think we've talked about staying poised and keep playing our game for the whole game, 60 minutes," Bergeron told media following morning skate, on his team's consistency.
"That was the main key and I thought we did that."
"I liked it a lot," said the Captain, Zdeno Chara, of his team being able to stay composed for the full 60 on Saturday. "Even when you look at the situation that happened in the late third, coming out to play the puck and end up on their stick and they pretty much had an empty net for a few seconds, you saw the guys really determined to block shots and just protect that lead and the shutout."
"It's nice to see when guys really take so much pride in playing well defensively and not giving up goals against."
The hockey gods haven't been too kind to Ottawa on the injury front this season. In addition to the extended injuries to Jason Spezza (back surgery), Craig Anderson (ankle), Mike Lundin (concussion) and Erik Karlsson (Achilles) among others, Paul Regin is on IR for an upper-body injury and Kaspars Daugavins will be in the lineup in his place. Guillaume Latendresse, who has only played six games for the Sens this season and has been recovering from what Ottawa has termed "whiplash," will be back in the lineup tonight, while Milan Michalek did not skate this morning due to maintenance and will be a scratch, per Sens' Coach Paul MacLean.
"You know what, with the injuries these guys have been through and have right now, their work ethic and their commitment, their system is what keeps them winning games," Coach Julien said following the B's morning skate. "You have to respect that because they have some good young players that have come up and done a good job for them."
"We saw it firsthand a week ago when we played them. They were a resilient team, we had our hands full, and we don't expect any different tonight."
Ottawa Projected Lines (according to their morning rushes):