Facing elimination for the second straight game, the Bruins trailed 2-1 going into the third period of Sunday’s Game 6 at the TD Garden. Patrice Bergeron evened the score to force overtime as he batted in his own rebound just under two minutes into the final period after Craig Anderson failed to tie the puck up off a Brad Marchand shot. But there would be no late-game heroics this time around as Clarke MacArthur ended the Bruins 2016-17 season on a power play goal by 6:30 into sudden death. With the 3-2 victory Ottawa advances to battle the New York Rangers in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Drew Stafford put the Bruins up 1-0 with a power play goal from the right circle at 18:13 in the first. Marchand made it possible as he made a great play to keep the puck in the offensive zone on a floundered Ottawa clearing attempt on the left boards. Marchand and Charlie McAvoy got the assists. The goal was just the third in 16 power play opportunities for the B’s this series.
Boston didn’t exactly put themselves in the best position to gain the early lead as they continued to take undisciplined penalties, this time three more delay of game gaffes for clearing the puck over the glass in the defensive zone. The Black and Gold killed all three, but didn’t allow the Senators to return the favor after Mark Stone was called for tripping at 17:25.
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The Bruins, as they have done so many times already this series, surrendered another breakaway attempt just after scoring their first, first-period goal this round. Fortunately, Tuukka Rask continued his stellar play, and didn’t allow the Senators to even the score.
Ottawa was awarded another power play opportunity early in the second and this time they would not be denied. Bobby Ryan persisted in frustrating the Bruins as he redirected a Derick Brassard shot from the point into the net at 3:26. Kyle Turris made it 2-1 Ottawa beating Rask with a hard wrist shot blocker side off the left post five minutes later.
Although there will still be plenty of questions this offseason for the Bruins, there are plenty of positives to take as well. If he is given the head coaching position, Bruce Cassidy has shown he can be successful in the NHL ranks. Even though it was a small sample size, the interim head coach helped reinvigorate a struggling club and lead them to the playoffs for the first time in three years. There is also a buzz about the youth movement, with eight skaters suiting up for their first playoff action. Sean Kuraly scored his first two NHL goals and 19-year-old McAvoy joined the club right from the college ranks at Boston University to provide three assists while playing on the team’s top defensive pairing.