By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Thoroughly outplayed every besides in net through 40 minutes, and down 1-0 behind Thomas Chabot’s goal 41 seconds into the third period, the Bruins appeared set to let their winning streak snap at four in a Thanksgiving Eve sleeper in Ottawa.
But third-period goals from Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara were enough to get the Bruins on the board against the Senators’ Anders Nilsson, and extend the Black and Gold’s winning streak to five behind a 2-1 final at the Canadian Tire Centre.
On the second leg of a back-to-back that began with Tuesday’s 8-1 beatdown of the Canadiens, the B’s had their most sluggish start of the year on Wednesday, firing just three shots on goal in the opening frame. It didn’t get all that better in the second period, as the Bruins finished with just 10 shots on goal through the first two periods of play, outshot 24-10.
But the Chabot goal on Tuukka Rask seemed to be the alarm clock the Bruins needed, as they simply took over in the third period, accounting for seven of the period’s first nine shots, and getting on the board with two goals in just 3:30.
The first came from Marchand, and off a great pass from Anders Bjork, to give Marchand his 18th goal of the campaign. It continued what’s been a just plain smoking stretch from No. 63, with goals in four straight contests, and seven goals in his last seven games overall. And Marchand, fresh off some milestones of his own, has at least one point in all but four games this year.
And with the Bruins opting not to make Jack Studnicka play five games in six nights, the Bruins dressed forward Brendan Gaunce for his first NHL game of the 2019-20 season. It was a move that paid off for the B’s, too, as Gaunce fed Chara for what would hold as the game-winning goal, blasted through Nilsson at the 8:45 mark of the third period.
Chara’s bomb was good for the 42-year-old’s fifth goal of the year, matching a 2018-19 mark set in 62 games, and needing just 25 games to do it this time around. Wednesday was a vintage night for No. 33, too, as he finished with a heavy 23:55 of time on ice headlined by a goal, three blocked shots, and plus-2 rating to go with over three minutes of action on the penalty kill.
Rask, meanwhile, was once strong in the Boston net, finishing with stops on 33-of-34 shots for his fifth straight win, and league-leading 12th victory in 16 decisions this season. The 32-year-old Rask has posted a .939 save percentage throughout his personal five-game winning streak, with stops on 155 of the 165 shots thrown his way in the Boston crease.
The Bruins will return to the ice Friday afternoon against the Rangers.