Dennis Seidenberg put the Bruins in first place Wednesday night in Phoenix, netting the game-winner in overtime and giving the Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes in Phoenix.
Benoit Pouliot set up by the play with some solid work behind Jason LaBarbera’s net. The third-line winger sent the puck in front, and when Chris Kelly fanned on his bid, Seidenberg got to the puck and fired it off Derek Morris and in. The victory gave the Bruins 49 points on the season, putting them in first place in the Eastern Conference.
David Krejci got the Bruins on the board when he finished off a play that Brad Marchand created by intercepting a pass in the neutral zone. With the B’s holding a 1-0 lead, veteran forward Ray Whitney executed a self-pass around Zdeno Chara, splitting two Bruins defensemen before beating Rask to tie it.
Whitney’s goal ended Rask’s shutout streak at 170:26, as the Finnish goaltender was coming off back-to-back shutouts for Boston.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Krejci has quietly put together a four-game point streak. The Czech center has two goals and two assists over that span, and with Wednesday’s tally now has seven goals this season. Krejci had just two points (both assists on Dec. 10) in his six games prior to this recent stretch, so perhaps Krejci, who has had issues with consistency, may be stringing something together.
– Rask was fantastic for the Bruins once again. It didn’t look as though he expected Whitney to get a shot off on his goal (the forward has two people, including Zdeno Chara, to beat), but aside from that goal, the red-hot netminder turned in another fine performance. He stopped Whitney on a breakaway in the second period, stuffing the forward with a left pad save. Rask made 21 saves in regulation.
– Good to see Adam McQuaid deliver an old-school beatdown. While the Bruins have plenty of willing fighters on their roster, McQuaid is far and away the most maniacal in the heat of battle. McQuaid went after Raffi Torres after the Phoenix winger delivered a questionable elbow to Andrew Ference. In addition to taking the decision, McQuaid left Torres cut above the left eye.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins didn’t have a ton of premium opportunities in the game, and LaBarbera came up big when they did. The Phoenix netminder denied Zach Hamill’s bid for his first career NHL goal when he tried to bury a rebound in the final minute of the second period, but LaBarbera got a leg on it. Early in the third period, Marchand had plenty of space going to the net after taking a feed from Tyler Seguin in the Coyotes’ zone, but LaBarbera robbed the Bruins’ leader in goals when Marchand tried to go high glove side. LaBarbera made 26 saves in regulation.
– The Bruins were wretched in their own zone in the final seconds of the game, and it looked at times like they wouldn’t be making it to overtime. Rask came up with the stops, and the B’s kept the puck out of the net to get the point that put them in first place.