OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins made their limited chances count.
Marchand broke a tie with 2:33 left and the Bruins — held without a shot in the second period — held on to beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Marchand scored off the rebound of Patrice Bergeron’s shot.
“I’ve used the word resiliency a lot and I think it’s become a bit of our middle name,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We’ve gone through quite a bit in game and with some injuries and we find a way. I think this group has a lot of character and it starts with the leadership.”
Game 2 is Saturday in Ottawa.
Frank Vatrano added a goal for Boston in his first NHL playoff game, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves. Bobby Ryan scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson stopped 23 shots.
“Clearly there was two shifts where we just gave it to them,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. “The two goals they’re just giveaway, after giveaway, after giveaway.”
The Bruins were outshot 12-0 in the second period. Boston is the first team to win a playoff game with no shots on goal in any period since Washington on May 7, 1994, against the New York Rangers.
“They didn’t give us a whole lot,” Marchand said. “They’re really good at keeping things to the outside and making it a one-on-none where they get the puck out quick. We’re going to have to be much better than we were (Wednesday). We can’t expect to win this series playing like that.”
Trailing 1-0 and without a shot since the first period, the Bruins had two quick ones and Vatrano beat Anderson from the high slot on the second to tie it at 4:55 of the third.
Boston was outshot 12-0 in the second and was fortunate to trail by just one.
Despite having played the least amount of any player in the first period with just 2:20 of ice time, Ryan was creating chances every time he was on the ice and nothing changed in the second.
Midway through the period, Ryan took the puck off Adam McQuaid and went to the net where Rask made the initial save, but Ryan pushed his way past Zdeno Chara to the net and scored on his own rebound.
The Bruins had a scare when Colin Miller left the game early in the second after being hit by Mark Borowiecki. With an already depleted blue line, the Bruins can hardly afford to lose another defenseman. Miller returned to the game later in the period. Cassidy said he’s not ruling him out for Saturday, but there is concern.
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