Bruins at Senators
The Ottawa Senators have been a nemesis all season for the Boston Bruins and now are on the brink of eliminating their Atlantic Division rival from the playoffs. The Senators have won three in a row since a Game 1 loss -- all by one goal -- and can close out Boston in Friday's Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series at Canadian Tire Centre.
Ottawa is 8-for-8 when holding a 3-1 series lead while Boston has never come back from such a deficit, but Senators coach Guy Boucher is taking little solace in those numbers. “History, I couldn’t care less about history," Boucher said Thursday. "History is different people at different times in different circumstances. For us, it’s all about us.” The Bruins lost all four regular-season meetings before stealing home-ice advantage in the series opener, but they were bottled up in Wednesday's 1-0 home loss and have zero margin for error. "They say defense wins championships and that’s obviously their motto over there," Boston leading scorer Brad Marchand said. "That’s hockey. You’re not going to win 7-6 every night. You’ve got to be able to play any style, so that’s the way it is.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, USA, NESN (Boston), Sportsnet, TVAS (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE BRUINS: Although Colin Miller returned for Game 4, Boston's blue-line corps remain decimated with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and Brandon Carlo expected to sit out Game 5. “There are guys progressing certainly, but to say in 24 hours that you could have some people available? I would say no,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Guys realize (Game 4) was another game that could have gone either way, and they just made one more play than us." Rookie Charlie McAvoy, who made his NHL debut in Game 1, has played at least 24 minutes in each contest, including a team-high 25:03 Wednesday.
ABOUT THE SENATORS: While Boston mustered a total of 10 shots over the final two periods, Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson set the tone in the opening 20 minutes by denying Marchand on a pair of breakaways en route to his fourth playoff shutout. “We made the plays when we needed to, and we stuck with it, and obviously Andy played huge for us in net, he really kept us in it going into the third,” captain Erik Karlsson said. “Andy was a rock for us, and probably stole this one for us.” Resurgent Bobby Ryan delivered the game-winner with his third goal of the series.
1. Karlsson, who set up the tying and winning goals in Game 3, picked up his fifth assist of the series on Ryan's goal in Game 4.
2. Boston is 2-for-11 on the power play in the series.
3. Ryan has four goals and two assists during a five-game point streak dating to the regular-season finale.