for this game

Bruins blank Senators, keep pace in playoff race

Mar 30, 2008 - 2:52 AM
By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Bruins have found their scoring touch at just the right time.

Rookie David Krejci had a goal and two assists while P.J. Axelsson, Marco Sturm and defenseman Shane Hnidy also scored as the Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators, 4-0, on Saturday at TD Banknorth Garden.

Struggling to find offense all season, the Bruins have scored 14 goals in their last three games - all wins - as they try to maintain their playoff position with four games remaining.

Tim Thomas stopped 34 shots for his seventh career shutout and third of the season as the Bruins (40-28-10) remained two points ahead of Washington (40-31-8) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals skated to a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

"I'm not really worried about the shutout, believe it or not," Thomas said. "I'm not just saying that. At this time of year, I just wanted the win."

"I don't know what it's going to take," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We just need to keep winning hockey games and see where we end up. I don't want to rely on others to take care of our business."

The Bruins now find themselves just two points behind the fifth-place Senators and one in back of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

"That's what we said after the end of the second period - we can still catch these guys (Senators)," Thomas said. "You don't want to get too far ahead of yourself, so at that point especially, we just had to do what we had to do to win there in the third period. But, statistically, it's not impossible."

Meanwhile, Ottawa (42-29-8) suddenly is not just fighting with idle New Jersey (43-28-7) for the fourth and the final home-ice advantage spot in the East. With 92 points, the Senators have yet to clinch a playoff berth, leading the ninth-place Capitals by only four points.

"We know it's a pressure situation," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We've got three games left, and we talked about this after the game. It's a situation where we haven't been playing well for quite some time.

"It's a possibility (not to make playoffs). We know we could lose all three and Washington wins out and we could be out, and then we don't deserve to be in the playoffs. It's as simple as that."

Following the latest loss, their fifth in seven games, the Senators held a closed-door meeting for 10 minutes.

"We just have to make sure that the last three games are kind of a test for us to see what character we have as we head into the playoffs," Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips said. "The biggest thought is, what's happened and what's gone on. We have to put it behind us and start fresh this week and focus on having a good week and going into the playoffs."

The Bruins had two power-play chances it the opening period but could not cash in on either.

But Boston finally broke through less than five minutes into the second, when rookie Milan Lucic dumped the puck into the left corner. Glen Metropolit collected the puck and passed to Axelsson, who fired a one-timer between the pads of goaltender Martin Gerber at 4:24 for his 13th goal of the season.

The Bruins doubled their lead on the power play just over three minutes later, when Sturm took a pass from Krejci and backhanded a shot past a diving Gerber for his team-leading 27th goal.

Krejci has become a key playmaker in the absence of Marc Savard and Chuck Kobasew, who are out with injuries.

"I'm comfortable," Krejci said. "I don't think it's pressure on me. It's pressure on all four lines. Everyone has to step up."

"He just keeps impressing more and more every game," Julien added. "The timing couldn't be better. That's part of it, and the other part of it is getting that opportunity and thriving in it. (I) can't say enough about it, it's been big."

Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov delivered a bruising hit on Krejci in the first period to try and set a tone.

"He took that hit from Volchenkov," Thomas said. "He's one of the hardest hitters in the game, and he bounced right back. He's been playing incredible, and little stuff like that shows heart."

Gerber turned away Krejci's initial shot but could not control the rebound, and Krejci found Sturm on the right side of the net at 7:55 for a power-play goal.

Krejci set up Hnidy early in the third at the end of a penalty kill. Falling to the ice, the first-year center found the defenseman at the left point for a slap shot that beat Gerber over the left shoulder 73 seconds into the period for a shorthanded goal.

It was only Hnidy's second tally of the season and first as a Bruin.

Krejci completed the scoring with 55 seconds remaining.

Gerber made 27 saves for Ottawa, which has dropped four of its last five.

"We had the great start (to the season), and thank goodness we had the great start to be competitive now," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "We're just not playing at that level now and other teams are playing at a better level than they were early on."






  • Stormtracker94 At this game. Two great fights.

    Senators 0, Bruins 4  FinalApr 22 7:38 PM
  • 30
    roots
    mjs1980 Added 5 roots

    Senators 0, Bruins 4  FinalApr 3 7:23 PM
  • 25
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    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Senators 0, Bruins 4  FinalMar 29 6:46 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 0 0
    BOSTON 0 2 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BOS - P.J. AXELSSON 13 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC) 4:24
    BOS - (PP) MARCO STURM 27 (DAVID KREJCI, GLEN MURRAY) 7:55
    3RD PRD: BOS - (SH) SHANE HNIDY 2 (DAVID KREJCI) 1:13
    BOS - DAVID KREJCI 5 (GLEN MURR

    Mar 29 3:36 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    BOSTON 4
    3RD PRD: BOS - DAVID KREJCI 5 (GLEN MURRAY, MARCO STURM) 19:05

    Senators 0, Bruins 4  3rd - 0:55Mar 29 3:32 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    BOSTON 3
    3RD PRD: BOS - (SH) SHANE HNIDY 2 (DAVID KREJCI) 1:13

    Senators 0, Bruins 3  3rd - 18:47Mar 29 3:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 0
    BOSTON 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BOS - P.J. AXELSSON 13 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC) 4:24
    BOS - (PP) MARCO STURM 27 (DAVID KREJCI, GLEN MURRAY) 7:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 1

    Mar 29 2:44 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    BOSTON 2
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) MARCO STURM 27 (DAVID KREJCI, GLEN MURRAY) 7:55

    Senators 0, Bruins 2  2nd - 12:05Mar 29 2:25 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: BOS - P.J. AXELSSON 13 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC) 4:24

    Senators 0, Bruins 1  2nd - 15:36Mar 29 2:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    BOSTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 10 10
    BOS 11 11
    GOALIES: OTT - MARTIN GERBER
    BOS - TIM THOMAS

    Mar 29 1:48 PM
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    joegrav Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. BruinsMar 28 5:16 PM
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    Senators vs. BruinsMar 28 10:40 AM
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    sensfaninohio Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. BruinsMar 9 5:11 PM
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    Senators vs. BruinsMar 4 8:29 AM