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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bruins Go Back Over .500 Thanks to 2 Goals from Matt Fraser In 4-2 Win Over Senators

The Bruins were dealt another injury at the strangest time: David Krejci took pregame warmups tonight at TD Garden vs. the Senators but couldn't play so Matt Fraser was in the lineup for the first time since October 18 at Buffalo (only his 2nd game in the last 10). Things worked out for Boston (7-6) though as they beat Ottawa (5-3-2) 4-2 behind the first career multi-point and also multi-goal game by Fraser.

Tuukka Rask also played well, making 29 saves as he improved to 5-4-0. He hasn't been himself for the first month of the season, far from the main reason why the B's have struggled but a key thing to note going forward. For the eighth time in their last nine games, the B's scored a first-period goal, this might explain why they've gone 5-2 in their last seven games (something that caught Rask off guard in the locker room afterwards).

Brad Marchand stayed hot with his third goal in the past two games, and fourth of the season (which sadly leads the team), at 18:54. Patrice Bergeron won the faceoff (not exactly breaking news since he leads the league in faceoff percentage) and pulled it back to Marchand. His shot wasn't that great but it still managed to trickle through Robin Lehner's (26 saves) pads.

As quickly as they grabbed the lead, Boston coughed it up as Dennis Seidenberg turned the puck over in his own end and the immortal Mark Stone went in alone and deked past Rask at 19:32. The Bruins should have been ahead after the first period after they outshot the Senators 10-5 but they weren't.

They took control in the second period thanks to Fraser's big game. Loui Eriksson caused a turnover and then Fraser was there for the rebound at 11:14. Carl Soderberg had the second assist on Fraser's first goal of the season. 1:28 later, Fraser did it again by picking a corner after assists from Soderberg and Zach Trotman. That was the third game in a row (Seth Griffith vs. Minnesota and Marchand at Buffalo) that a Bruin had two goals.

One of the only things about as unlikely as seeing Fraser score a pair of goals was Seidenberg putting one in but that's exactly what happened at 2:08 of the third period for a 4-1 B's advantage. A loose puck went back to him at the point and he fired it into the far side lower corner past Lehner. That was Seidenberg's first goal of the season as well leaving only Daniel Paille, Trotman, David Warsofsky and Joe Morrow as the only Bruins in tonight's contest without a goal this season. Obviously the three young defensemen have an excuse since they were just recently called up from Providence.

Ottawa made the final result slightly more respectable as Mika Zibanejad (a member of the current NHL All-Name team) potted a goal at 15:43 after a turnover by Milan Lucic. BU's Alex Chiasson had an assist while fellow Terrier Eric Gryba played in his 100th NHL game. Somewhere Jack Parker smiles.

This was the start of an important month for the Bruins since they play 12 games overall including nine at the Garden. What's more, most of them are against bottom feeding teams. Boston is home for the next week plus as they have three more games here starting with a matchup with Shawn Thornton and the Panthers (4-2-3) on Tuesday (7, NESN). After that, they host the Oilers on Thursday then the Devils on Monday. I hereby dub it reunion week with Andrew Ference on Edmonton along with Jaromir Jagr and Michael Ryder on New Jersey.

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