By Andrew Thompson Twitter: @godwentwhoops
The Boston Bruins have not gotten a fair shake from the referees this playoff series. Still, the Black and Gold have found ways to stay alive against the Ottawa Senators.
The Boston Bruins had to play five periods of hockey in order to keep their playoff hopes alive on Friday night. Through determination and grit (and in spite of the refs who were either motivated by bias and/or ignorance), the B’s found a way to win, beating the Senators 3-2 in double overtime.
There were several heroes for the Bruins on Friday.
Bruce Cassidy was the first. The Bruins interim head coach decided to swap out forward Ryan Spooner (who may have played his last game as a member of the B’s) for Sean Kuraly. Kuraly would have likely seen very limited playing time if it wasn’t for the lower body injury to David Krejci. Cassidy had to endure several bad calls before Kuraly netted the overtime winner.
Sean Kuraly is certainly the second hero of the game. He earned his first two NHL goals, including the double overtime winner for Boston. His first goal helped tie it up in the second period.
His second goal saved the season for the Bruins.
Kuraly had an outstanding night for Boston. The 24-year old forward finished the game with six shots on goal, three hits, one block, and a takeaway. What makes it more impressive is that the he was able to get all that done in just 18 minutes of ice time.
“I liked his game early in the series, but we had guys that had been here, [David Krejci] came back…we liked him, we just had guys ahead of him,” said Cassidy of Kuraly. “One door closed, another one opened…he took advantage of his opportunity, started at the bottom of the lineup. We needed him more. He had the energy.”
The Bruins have been relying on the ‘next man up’ principle this postseason. With the list of injured players piling up, the young B’s have been asked to step up. By and large, the young players have done that in Boston.
“He’s got the tools, he’s flying,” offered B’s alternate captain David Backes on Kuraly’s heroics. “He makes a play by getting in on the forecheck, I’m able to be the second guy in there, he gets into open ice and brings it to the net hard the way we’ve talked about and scores his first NHL goal.
“With Krech out, we need some guys to step up. Certainly tonight was his night…great kid that works his butt off. You love to see it….that’s as fun as it gets.”
Tuukka Rask was the other big hero for Boston. When the B’s were down 2-0 due to an ugly pair of breakaways, the Finnish netminder buckled down and refused to allow another Senator to score on him.
Rask had 41 saves in the game. He stopped all five power play attempts by the Senators and kept the team in it when the refs really put the screws to Boston.
Now the Bruins head back to Boston to see if they can pull out another win against the Senators on Sunday.