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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Bruins polish off 6-0-0 road trip by blanking the Senators
Seconds after the Boston Bruins had hung on for a 1-0 win last night at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place, a remarkable graphic popped up on the screen: the last time Boston went a perfect 6-0-0 on a road trip was in 1972.
As any true Black and Gold fan could tell you, that happened to be the last time this luckless franchise won a Stanley Cup. So yeah, last night's victory was rather important.
Boston (37-19-7) extended their season-high win streak to six games while goaltender Tuukka Rask (33 saves; 9-11-1) won his fourth start in a row. After struggling for much of the season and not being able to get a rhythm thanks to Tim Thomas' otherworldly play, Rask and the Bs have found a perfect balance for their two studs between the pipes.
Nathan Horton scored his 18th goal of the season (and third in three games) at 1:43 in the third period. Assists went to Brad Marchand and Adam McQuaid. Patrice Bergeron started the sequence by controlling the puck behind Ottawa's (21-33-9) net before dishing it back to McQuaid. Marchand tipped McQuaid's shot and Horton was able to win the scramble in front for the game-winner.
Predictably in the last game of a wildly successful road trip, the Bruins were largely outplayed by the Senators who fielded a team of AHL callups with frankly nothing to lose. Ottawa outshot Boston 33-21 for the game and in each period but in the end, it didn't matter.
The Senators had a flurry of near goals in the third period that had NESN's Kathryn Tappen going nuts in studio but Rask and his defense refused to allow the tying strike.
With the win, Boston moves into a tie for second in the Eastern Conference with Tampa Bay (five points behind the Flyers). Interestingly enough, the Bruins and Lightning face off tomorrow night at the TD Garden.
The second seed is vital cause it means the Bruins would face teams like the Rangers, Hurricanes or Sabres who are all a notch below the No. 6 team-Montreal.