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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

12 Bruins Record Points As Boston Knocks Off Ottawa-The NHL's Hottest Team

Entering tonight, it was a sort of Bizarro NHL as our Boston Bruins were riding a three-game losing streak and were the worst team in the Eastern Conference, also one point away from Columbus to be tied for worst in the league.

Conversely, the Ottawa Senators-thought to be one of the dredges of the NHL landscape-came in on a six-game win streak. They were the hottest team in the league after a 1-5 start.

Using a true 60 minute effort that I'm not afraid to dub their best of the season, the B's (4-7-0) came away with a 5-3 win over the Senators (7-6-0) at TD Garden.

The Bruins as currently constituted and as long as head coach Claude Julien is in town will probably never have a 50-goal scorer (sorry Seguin) or leading point getter in the NHL. Boston thrives when they can roll four lines and get contributions from up and down the roster.

In essence, tonight was a nearly perfect Julien game as 12 Bruins recorded points led by Zdeno Chara (2 assists), Chris Kelly (1 goal, 1 assist) and Rich Peverley (2 assists). Goaltender Tim Thomas (4-4-0; 23 saves) was the victim of two bad bounces that resulted in Ottawa goals but Boston was able to rally for only its second come from behind victory of the season.

Nick Foligno (3rd of the season) opened the scoring for the Senators at 5:19 of the first period. He drove to the net and the puck appeared to pounce off Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid and past Thomas.

Four seconds later, Shawn Thornton and Zenon Konopka dropped the gloves. That was Thornton's fourth fighting major of the season and this time, it rightfully energized his team.

Milan Lucic tied it less than two minutes later with his fourth of the season, on the power play. Looch crashed Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson (36 saves) and used a nice touch to flick it in off a rebound. Chara and Dennis Seidenberg assisted.

Stephane Da Costa-a Merrimack College product-assisted on the Senators' first goal and he scored his third of the season just 16 seconds after Lucic for a 2-1 Ottawa lead. Foligno found him with a pretty between the legs drop pass.

Boston went ahead with a strong second period (2-0). Patrice Bergeron potted his third of the season after a beautiful rush and passing sequence with linemates Seguin and Brad Marchand. Kelly's one-timer was his third goal of the season, from Peverley and Chara.

Jared Cowen scored his first NHL goal, in the third period, to tie it up. Once again, it was not Thomas' fault as a soft shot from the point had eyes/was deflected past him.

Johnny Boychuk's first goal of the season, a Johnny Rocket as Jack Edwards loves to call them, turned out to be the game-winner at 6:41 from Kelly and Peverley.

Daniel Paille (second of the season) scored 37 seconds later to clinch it. For once, he didn't blow it on a breakaway (he seems to have one or two a game). Thornton and Gregory Campbell assisted. Campbell's night wasn't over either as the fourth line aka Fribble Crew was in full effect. He fought Zach Smith late in the third in an ugly battle against a bigger foe.

Before we go too crazy and declare the B's back, let's see how they do in their next game: Saturday night in Toronto. Boston has yet to win back-to-back games in 2011-12 so baby steps people.

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