Playoff hockey is back for the Boston Bruins after a two-year hiatus and life is good. The B’s fought back from a furious second-period Ottawa Senator attack to win game one, 2-1.
After sitting out the last two games of the season, serving a suspension for spearing, Brad Marchand scored the game winner off a rebound with only 2:33 remaining in the third period of the first-round matchup against the Senators Wednesday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Down 1-0 in the third, Boston’s Frank Vatrano evened the score at 4:55 with a high wrist shot from the left slot beating Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson blocker side. The goal was just the second even-strength goal the Black and Gold netted vs. the Senators this year after going 0-3-1 during the regular season.
There was no scoring in a fast-paced first period, but each team had chances. During 4-4 play, David Pastrnak stole the puck from Dion Phaneuf at the blueline, but fell deking Anderson, and missed wide. The Senators answered with a long pass through the neutral zone to Derick Brassard who skated in alone on Tuukka Rask (26 saves) to no avail.
With two of the B’s top defensemen already out with injuries, just signed 19-year old Charlie McAvoy was on the ice to start the game and looked poised. Momentum shifted in Ottawa’s advantage shortly after a knee check by Mark Borowiecki knocked Colin Miller out of the game at 4:52 of the second period. Bobby Ryan put Ottawa on the board at 10:28, slipping the puck under the left pad of Rask on the left post. The Senators outshot Boston 12-0 in the period.
The two teams meet again for game two in Ottawa on Saturday at 3 p.m. on NBC Boston.