Brad Marchand’s late third period goal carried the Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the opening game of their Eastern Conference First Round series Wednesday night.
Marchand, coming off a two game suspension to end the regular season, struck the back of the net with 2:33 to go after finding the puck off of a blocked shot taken by teammate Patrice Bergeron.
The game was a battle where both goalies proved excellent; Boston’s Tukka Rask saved 26 of 27 shots and was barely enough to beat Ottawa’s Craig Anderson, who went 23 of 25 between the posts.
The first period was an exciting, however neutral battle as both teams headed to intermission without a goal. Halfway into the second, Senator’s Bobby Ryan skated in and out of Bruins defenders to eventually score and give Ottawa the lead. At 4:55 into the third, Boston’s Frank Vatrano tied the game at 1 with a shot from the slot. The game was tied for 13 minutes until Marchand’s winning score.
Defenseman Charlie McCavoy made his NHL debut tonight due to injuries preventing Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo from playing in the beginning of the series. McCavoy, who was signed by the Bruins earlier this week, was still playing with the Boston University Terriers last month. The 19 year old, in an interview with NHL’s Eric Russo on Wednesday, said “It feels like I blinked my eyes and a second ago I was at Boston University … I mean, it’s crazy. It’s been a whirlwind.”*
McCavoy wasn’t alone regarding debuts, as Bruins interim head coach, Bruce Cassidy, started his playoff career in Boston with a 1-0 record tonight. This was something that Cassidy’s predecessor didn’t accomplish; Claude Julien lost his first playoff game with the 2007 squad to the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins were eliminated in the seventh game in that series.
The Eastern Conference First Round matchup between the Bruins and the Senators continues in Ottawa on Saturday as Boston looks to take the series to the Garden with a 2-0 lead.