BOSTON — There’s no blaming the officials after this one. Don’t look goalie Tuukka Rask’s way, either.
No, the Boston Bruins can only look in the mirror.
The inability to put the puck behind Craig Anderson – not Ken Dryden, not Martin Brodeur, not Dominik Hasek but Craig Anderson – has the Bruins on the brink of a season-ending game Friday night at Ottawa.
Boston put 22 shots on Anderson on Wednesday night at TD Garden. A dozen in a spirited first period, then five in the second and five in the third, two by Brad Marchand in the final minute. They went almost 13 minutes without a shot on goal in that final period.
Boston left the ice to a cascade of boos born out of frustration after a 1-0 Game 4 defeat.
Having now lost seven of the eight games against the Senators this season, the Bruins haven’t scored in their last 91 minutes, 52 seconds. And never have they come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series.
“It’s not over until someone gets that fourth win,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has one goal and one assist through four games. That’s tied for second-best on the team behind David Pastrnak (1-2-3). “We’re having some good looks (on goal) but too many are one and done. We have to make it harder for (Anderson) to see the puck.”
Rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy seemingly put the Bruins on the scoreboard first with a second-period blast, but Tim Schaller was ruled offside upon further review. That’s the kind of night it was for Boston.
Someone threw a beach ball onto the ice during the second period Wednesday night. If the Bruins can’t find a way to put a few pucks past Anderson on Friday night, they might be chasing beach balls in the Caribbean next week.
WHILE DEFENSEMAN Colin Miller rejoined Boston’s lineup during Game 4, interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday that the team doesn’t expect Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo or Adam McQuaid to play in Game 5.
“No, I don’t think so,” Cassidy said of any returning defensemen.
Krug hasn’t played since Boston’s regular-season matchup against the Senators on April 6, going down with a lower-body injury after logging 2:32 of ice time. Krug led Bruins defensemen in scoring in the regular season with 51 points.
Carlo suffered an upper-body injury in Boston’s regular-season finale April 8 against Washington, smashing into the boards off of a hit from Alex Ovechkin. In the regular season, Carlo averaged 20:49 of ice time with 16 points and a plus-9 rating.
McQuaid exited Game 2 against the Senators with an upper-body injury midway through the first period.