Bruins ride late surge to big win
BOSTON — Goaltender Tuukka Rask kept his team alive in the first period before the Boston Bruins woke up and went on to their eighth straight home victory Friday night.
Rask made 15 stops in the first period, finishing with 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and right winger Reilly Smith scored twice to power Boston to a 5-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
The win, fueled by four third-period goals, came in the front end of a home-and-home that ends in Ottawa tonight.
The Bruins, sluggish at the start in the first game back after the Christmas break, were outshot 15-5 in the first period. Right winger Jarome Iginla connected for his 11th goal of the season on Boston’s first power play of the game, with 3:31 left in the second period to make it 1-0.
It was the Bruins fourth power play-goal in as many chances dating back to going 3-for-3 at Nashville on Monday night.
Center David Krejci converted a rebound off the back boards 38 seconds into the third period, beating Sentaors goaltender Robin Lehner to make it 2-0.
Smith scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season later in the third, the first goal coming off a nifty 2-on-1 pass by left winger Brad Marchand.
Marchand then scored his ninth of the season on a short-handed breakaway with 27 seconds left to close out the scoring.
Center Patrice Bergeron assisted on both Smith goals.
Lehner, who projects as a goalie on the Swedish Olympic team, came in just 2-3-2 against the Bruins, but with a 2.11 goals-against-average and .943 save percentage. He had 36 saves.
Boston has not lost a home game in regulation since dropping a 4-3 decision to the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 26.
Notes: Bruins D Dennis Seidenberg left the game late with an apparent right knee injury. ... The Bruins recalled G Niklas Svedberg from Providence, where his last game was a shutout. It appears likely he’ll start the back end of the home-and-home tonight. Coach Clude Julien said, “We told him that after having such a good camp that we’d bring him up at some point and give him some games, so that’s what we’re doing right now.” ... LW Daniel Paille returned for Boston after missing seven games with a concussion. Others on the injury list are progressing and RW Shawn Thornton has until Friday to decide whether he’ll challenge his failed appeal before commissioner Gary Bettman. Friday was his ninth game out. ... Ottawa G Craig Anderson, who shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, is expected to start for the Senators tonight. ... C Mika Zibanejad, recovering from the flu, skated in warm-ups and played. ... Game notes had Ottawa losing 16 manpower games to injury. Last year, during the lockout-shortened season, the Sens lost 219.