for this game

Bruins edge Senators as both clinch playoff spot

Apr 5, 2008 - 5:20 AM
OTTAWA (Ticker) -- While both teams secured a postseason berth, the Boston Bruins have to be feeling much better about themselves.

Captain Zdeno Chara and Phil Kessel scored goals and Tim Thomas made 17 saves as the Bruins skated to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday.

Vladimir Sobotka and former Senator Peter Schaefer each notched an assist for Boston (41-28-12), which is returning to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

"At the start of the season, our No. 1 goal was to make the playoffs," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "To accomplish that after the season we've had gives us a lot of confidence. We faced lots of controversy this year, but the guys answered the call. However, we're not satisfied with just making the playoffs."

"We knew what was at stake and we approached it that way," Chara said. "We just play every shift very, very hard. It's a great team effort. We just play smart with good focus, and we scored some goals. Everybody played a really good game."

Antoine Vermette scored for the Senators (43-31-8), who also clinched a spot in the postseason by virtue of the Carolina Hurricanes' loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday.

"We're excited about making the playoffs," said Ottawa's Jason Spezza, whose team was playing without the injured Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher. "We would've preferred to win, but we can't dwell too much on one game. ... We got 94 points over the course of the season, and that's what matters."

"I had hoped we could win our game tonight instead of getting help," Senators goaltender Martin Gerber added.

Both Alfredsson and Fisher are likely to be sidelined for several weeks with knee injuries suffered in Thursday's victory over Toronto.

"It will hurt us tremendously not having Alfredsson and Fisher with us," Ottawa's Dany Heatley said. "But we definitely have other talent that can fill in their roles."

After a scoreless first period, Chara gave the Bruins the lead at 6:39 of the second. Sobotka gained possession of a loose puck in the right faceoff circle and dished to the All-Star defenseman, who beat Gerber to the glove side with a slap shot from the top of the slot.

It was the career-high 17th goal of the season for Chara, who netted 16 while with Ottawa in 2005-06.

Kessel doubled Boston's lead at 4:21 of the third, when he beat Gerber from the slot following a turnover in the left corner.

The Senators halved the deficit midway through the period thanks to a nifty play by Dean McAmmond.

As Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman attempted to carry the puck through the left circle and out of his own zone, McAmmond picked his pocket and threw it in front. Vermette ultimately knocked the puck past Thomas with 8:14 remaining for his 24th of the season.

"McAmmond came out and stole the puck from (Wideman)," Vermette said. "From there, they just worked hard to get the puck to the net. I think McAmmond tried to pass to me, but I was a little higher, so it didn't work right away. It touched a defenseman's skate and I found a way to get the loose puck and get it past him."

But the Senators were unable to get any sustained pressure on Thomas the rest of the way, registering just two more shots as they fell to 0-3-1 in their last four home games.

"I kept waiting to feel (Ottawa's frustration), but I never really felt it," Thomas said. "They just kept coming hard. I was hoping that they would get a little frustrated, but I didn't really see it."

Thomas turned aside the first 15 shots he faced for Boston, which improved to 4-0-3 in its last seven games overall and 2-0-4 in its last six on the road.

"We played our system well tonight," Julien said. "We won the little battles, which shows the kind of character this team has been building this season. Ottawa came out with a sense of urgency, then both teams settled down. We didn't panic and we were able to get a couple of goals from our created opportunities."

Against Ottawa this season, Thomas went 4-1-1 with a pair of shutouts. The All-Star allowed just three goals over his final five meetings with the Senators.

"He's got our number, no doubt about it," Vermette said. "He's been playing pretty good against us, so it's good to get one (goal), at least."

"We've kept a lot of people's score down lately, so I don't think it's anything in particular about Ottawa," Thomas said. "Maybe it just seems like that because you watch us play Ottawa more than other teams."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 1 1 2
    OTTAWA 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BOS - ZDENO CHARA 17 (VLADIMIR SOBOTKA) 6:39
    3RD PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 19 (PETER SCHAEFER) 4:22
    OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 24 (SHEAN DONOVAN, DEAN MCAMMOND)
    8:14
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: BOS - 0 OF 2, OTT -

    Apr 4 10:01 PM
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    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Bruins 2, Senators 1  3rd - 0:50Apr 4 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    OTTAWA 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 24 (SHEAN DONOVAN, DEAN MCAMMOND) 8:14

    Bruins 2, Senators 1  3rd - 11:46Apr 4 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    OTTAWA 0
    3RD PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 19 (PETER SCHAEFER) 4:22

    Bruins 2, Senators 0  3rd - 15:38Apr 4 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 1 1
    OTTAWA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BOS - ZDENO CHARA 17 (VLADIMIR SOBOTKA) 6:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 8 12 20
    OTT 6 6 12
    GOALIES: BOS - TIM THOMAS
    OTT

    Apr 4 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    OTTAWA 0
    2ND PRD: BOS - ZDENO CHARA 17 (VLADIMIR SOBOTKA) 6:39

    Bruins 1, Senators 0  2nd - 13:21Apr 4 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0
    OTTAWA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 8 8
    OTT 6 6
    GOALIES: BOS - TIM THOMAS
    OTT - MARTIN GERBER

    Apr 4 8:13 PM
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