Friday, March 7, 2014
The Associated Press
BOSTON — Even with team captain Zdeno Chara already in Russia and four more players headed that way, the Boston Bruins didn’t appear to have even the slightest pre-Olympic distraction.
Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly, left, and defenseman Eric Gryba of the Ottawa Senators get a close look at the puck as they fight for possession along the boards during the Bruins’ 7-2 win at Boston on Saturday. Patrice Bergeron led Boston with two goals and an assist.
The Associated Press
The Bruins closed out their surge to the Olympic break with a 7-2 rout of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday as seven Boston players finished with multiple points.
“That’s something we talked about before the game. We wanted to end this on a good note and feeling good about ourselves heading into the break, and I think we’ve done that,” said Patrice Bergeron, who had two goals and an assist.
The Bruins won for the ninth time in 11 games with one loss coming in overtime and enter the break with a large lead in the Atlantic Division and second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Boston’s spot in the standings was secure regardless of Saturday’s result. Instead of coasting into the break, the Bruins closed with their first seven-goal game of the season.
“Our transition was great and that’s why we had so many odd-man rushes,” said Bergeron, whose only upcoming break is a long flight to Russia to join defending Olympic gold medalist Canada.
Fellow Olympians David Krejci of the Czech Republic and Sweden’s Loui Eriksson added a pair of assists apiece in their final game before Olympic play begins.
“I liked the way we handled that,” Boston Coach Claude Julien said. “It’s not like the games we lost we weren’t very good. Throughout that stretch I thought the consistency we were looking for was there and more.”
Julien is also Olympics-bound as a member of the Team Canada coaching staff.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask of Finland got the day off and Chara left Boston early to carry Slovakia’s flag in the opening ceremony.
Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists, Jarome Iginla a goal and assist and Reilly Smith a pair of assists for Boston.
The Bruins outshot the Senators 42-28 and chased Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson after Boston took a 5-1 lead early in the third on Milan Lucic’s goal.
“This is one of those nights where we just have to let it go, forget about it and move forward,” Anderson said. “We have that no-quit mentality and I think it’s shown over the last month or so.
“We have put ourselves in a pretty good situation to be in the hunt and to be in the battle for a playoff spot.”
Bobby Ryan scored in the second period and Patrick Wiercioch added a goal in the third for Ottawa.
Boston backup goalie Chad Johnson made 26 saves while getting the start for Tuukka Rask.
NHL teams resume their regular-season schedule Feb. 27.
BLUES 4, JETS 3: T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in a shootout to give St. Louis a win at home.
The crowd chanted “USA! USA! as Oshie skated in on Al Montoya and beat him. Tarasenko then scored, giving the Blues the victory in their final game before the Olympic break.
Blues goalie Brian Elliott stopped Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd in the tiebreaker.
Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy and Jaden Schwartz scored in regulation for the Blues, 15-0-1 against Central Division rivals.
FLYERS 2, FLAMES 1: Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell scored goals, and Ray Emery stopped 32 shots as Philadelphia won at home for its fourth straight victory.
CANADIENS 4, HURRICANES 1: David Desharnais scored twice as Montreal won at Raleigh, N.C.
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