The Boston Bruins squandered a two goal, third period lead on Saturday, falling to the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime of Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Dion Phaneuf evened the series at 1-1, scoring the game winner 1:59 into the extra period, seconds after a delay of game penalty to Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara expired.
The injuries keep mounting for the Bruins, and at the worst time of the year. With centers David Krejci and Noel Acciari, along with defensemen Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo, already out of the lineup, the team was dealt another blow on Wednesday night when fellow blueliner Colin Miller went down in the second period with a leg injury.
None of the wounded suited up for Game 2, giving 24-year-old Joe Morrow a chance to get his first playing time since Jan. 22. In all, eight Bruins saw their first NHL playing action in Game 1, including Charlie McAvoy, who made his NHL debut.
Both teams were forced to go with five defensemen in Game 2, with the B’s losing Adam McQuaid to an upper-body injury late in the first. The Sens also went down a defender after Mark Borowiecki fell awkwardly into the boards and hobbled off the ice in the first. He did not return to the game.
Scoreless after a fast-paced first period where the teams traded penalties and had 10 shots apiece, things opened up in the second and the Bruins took advantage of some undisciplined play by Ottawa.
The Black and Gold lit the lamp midway through the second when Chara fought off an Ottawa defender down low and slipped it to David Backes outside the right circle.
Backes crossed it to Drew Stafford in the left slot, where he was able to put a wrist shot past the blocker of Craig Anderson. The play was challenged for an earlier offside, but ultimately the goal was allowed.
Ottawa responded with a short-handed goal a minute later after a Frank Vatrano tripping penalty. Bobby Ryan passed to an open Clarke MacArthur, who ripped a shot to the top left corner beating B's goalie Tuuka Rask.
The Bruins were short-handed after a scuffle at center ice on the ensuing faceoff, but took advantage of an Anderson miscue. The Senators netminder came out of his crease and misplayed the puck in the right slot. Dominic Moore intercepted and struggled with an Ottawa defender where the puck ultimately bounced to a waiting Tim Schaller, who put it into the open net while Anderson attempted to regain his position.
The Bruins made it 3-1 at 16:01 with a power play goal from Patrice Bergeron on a beautiful redirect of a David Pastrnak shot that beat Anderson off his left shoulder.
The Senators pulled to within one at 5:28 of the third when Chris Wideman put a fluttering wrister under the glove of a partially screened Rask, then they ultimately evened the score on a one-timer from Derick Brassard two minutes later.
The series returns to the TD Garden on Monday, where the Bruins have been much more successful since interim head coach Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb 7. Game time is 7 p.m.