Boston Bruins' Glen Murray (27) controls the puck against Ottawa Senators' Daniel Alfredsson, rear, of Sweden, during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Boston -- The Ottawa Senators defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Tuesday night in the TD Banknorth Garden. Boston's Chuck Kobasew and Milan Lucic each scored in a losing effort, while Ottawa's Jason Spezza scored two and Martin Gerber stopped 26 Bruins shots to put the "W" in the Senators column.
The powerhouse Sens traveled to Massachusetts having won five games in a row and no doubt the Boston Bruins looked up at the standings board in their locker room and saw only six points between them and the Eastern Conference leading Senators.
To boot, the Bruins began the contest 0-1-1 vs. the Senators in the season's series with a 3-2 loss in Ottawa on Nov. 3 and a 2-1 shootout setback in Boston on Nov. 4.
Can you say grudge match?
Boston looked to have taken an early 1-0 lead after Marco Sturm went to the net and forced a puck through Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber. The Black & Gold had a would-be shorthanded goal from winger Marco Sturm called back early on as well -- the official word being that the play was blown dead prior to the goal being scored.
The result: no goal, 0-0 game.
And the score remained that way until at 12:25, when a scramble in front of the Bruins barrel led to a Spezza one-timer. The Ottawa forward's shot found its way past Boston's Alex Auld and broke the streaking goalie's shutout streak at 97:07.
Boston Bruins goaltender Alex Auld, right, makes a save on a shot by Ottawa Senators' Randy Robitaille (27) during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
However, soon afterward Boston's second line right wing Chuck Kobasew tied the game with an outstanding effort, started by a nifty pass from his center Glen Metropolit, and finished when the former BC Eagle found Gerber's five-hole on a breakaway at 14:40.
"There was a neutral zone turnover and Glen (Metropolit) put it up into some open space and (created a) chance for a breakaway for me and I scored," said Kobasew. "We ended up getting three partial breakaways in the first perod and we were creating chances early on because of the way we were playing the neutral zone."
It was Kobasew's team-leading 13th goal of the season.
There was a plethora of offensive play at the beginning of the second period, but neither team had bested the other's goalie, with Auld making several key saves in the first 10 minutes of the stanza.
But Ottawa finally garnered the lead at 10:38 when Luke Richardson put his first of the season into the B's net to make the score 2-1.
Gerber, the Sen's stalwart goalie, kept Boston off the board for the entire middle session and sent the Bruins to the room for the second intermission trailing by one.
A double minor penalty put the B's in a very tough spot at 5:37 and, with Auld having lost his stick, the Senators put one away at 8:19 to make the score 3-1.
Spezza scored the goal, his second of the game and his 10th of the year.
Boston's Lucic scored at 18:44 to put the game back in reach. However, it was a little too late to mount a successful comeback and the Senators held on for the 3-2 win.
"Schaefer had the puck," explained Lucic of his goal. "I was just the third guy out there and hoping a rebound comes out.
"That's exactly what happened...I was lucky (and was able to) just bury it."
"No doubt, (Lucic) gave us a chance to at least get ourselves a point," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "But we need to bury (more) opportunities.
"I think we had about eight good opportunities (including) three breakaways.
"That (fire) was something that seemed to disappear as the game went on and that's something that we have to be able to sustain over three periods," he said.
· The Bruins allowed the first goal of the game with a Jason spezza goal at 12:25 of the first period. It was just the 12th time in 32 games (no first goal in the 1-0 shootout win over NY Rangers on Oct. 20) that the Bruins have allowed the first goal.
· They now have a 3-9-0 record in games in which their opponents score first.
· It was the 21st time in 32 games that the senators scored first and they now have a 19-1-1 record in those contests.
· Dennis Wideman had an assist tonight and now has points in nine of his last 11 games with 2-7-9 totals in that span.
· the Bruins outshot the Senators tonight by a 28-27 margin. It was just the eighth time this season that the Bruins have outshot their opponents and they are now 3-5-0 in those contests.
1 - 0 OTT
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 OTT
3 - 1 OTT
3 - 2 OTT
Too many men/ice - bench
Hi stick - double minor