By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Bruins were back in Boston for their first playoff game at the Garden in a few years on Monday night. Despite the electric atmosphere and the return of David Krejci, the team started very slow and looked lackadaisical before fighting back and ultimately coming up short to drop Game 3.
In the first period, the Bruins got manhandled as Ottawa outshot them 10-3 and opened up a quick 2-0 lead. A depleted Boston defense was getting exposed early and often as Mike Hoffman scored the first of his two goals before Derick Brassard added one just 25 seconds later to put the Bruins in a hole.
Ottawa continued to dominate into the second period as they got another goal from Hoffman to take a commanding 3-0 lead. The Bruins would need to score, and score fast if they had any hope of winning this one. They needed a momentum turn, and boy did they get it.
A few minutes after Hoffman’s goal, the Bruins showed some life, as they got on the board with one of their own from postseason rookie Noel Acciari. Then, 42 seconds later, David Backes would put the puck in the back of the net to make this a game again at 3-2. The Garden crowd was back in it and the Senators were on their heels, but Boston wasn’t done with their furious comeback.
The Bruins went on the power play late in the third after Dion Phaneuf was called for slashing. They would take advantage of the opportunity as David Pastrnak netted a goal to tie the game and send the building into a frenzy. For all the good the Senators had done for themselves early in the game, they had nothing to show for it but a tied game.
At this point, it really felt like the Bruins would find a way to win in the third period. Once a team gives up a lead it is so tough for them to regroup and win, so the Senators would need some extreme mental toughness on the road. The final period of regulation would be rather uneventful however, and the two teams would head to their second straight overtime game.
Once we got into overtime, I wasn’t feeling as hot about the Bruins chances. Anytime you get into a sudden death situation, it’s tough to feel anything but anxiety for the duration of play. When Riley Nash received a two-minute penalty for roughing, the bad feelings only got more intense. Even Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy would call the penalty “demoralizing” in his postgame press conference.
Just a minute later, that man advantage for Ottawa took it’s toll and Bobby Ryan scored the game winner to send the Boston fans home unhappy and give his team a 2-1 series lead. In a game where the B’s had stormed back and fought, they just couldn’t quite finish the job. Now they face a series deficit and a Game 4 on Wednesday night at the Garden.
Despite the loss, I’m sticking with my prediction of Bruins in six. I’m running out of games here, but I’ve got the faith that this team can get it going.