March 1st, 2013 by

Bergeron’s OT winner sparks Bruins in return to TD Garden

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(Photo credit: Sharon Bradley/BruinsDaily) Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal in over time tonight to lift the B’s (13-2-2) over the Ottawa Senators Thursday night.

The Boston Bruins returned home on Thursday night after a long five-game road trip and they did not disappoint the TD Garden faithful. Patrice Bergeron scored in dramatic fashion in overtime and, after video review, gave the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

It was not the Bruins finest of efforts by any means, but again, they found a way to grind out another win and record two points to improve to 13-2-2 on the year.

The Bruins jumped out to a lead in the second period on a beautiful sequence. Milan Lucic fought to keep the puck in the offensive zone and then found a streaking Dougie Hamilton who had a nice give-and-go with Nathan Horton who eventually trickled one past Robin Lehner.

More after the jump including postgame video

The Bruins shorthanded unit was at it again on Thursday night before the Senators ended a streak of 27 straight kills. Jim O’Brien scored a power-play goal beating Tuukka Rask who was sensational on the night.

The B’s had some bad sequences in the second and third periods. They were turning the puck over in their own end and if it was not for Rask, this game could have been out of hand in the Senators favor a lot earlier. Their power-play came back down the earth as well. They could not capitalize on the man advantage and Chris Bourque had some questionable plays and penalties on the night not to mention the amount of playing time with the man advantage.

The two teams skated to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation before Bergeron sent a sellout crowd home from the TD Garden with less than two minutes remaining in the extra frame.

Despite the review, Bergeron had no doubt that he scored the game-winning goal on Thursday night.

“I thought for sure it was in, especially after that second kick at it,” said the Bruins assistant captain. “Marshy (Brad Marchand) was standing right there. He said it was definitely in after the second time.”

Bergeron stole the spotlight at the end of the game, but if it wasn’t for Rask, this game would not have made over time. The Finnish netminder recorded 30 saves, including two great stops in overtime. He is playing tremendous hockey at the most opportune time for the Bruins as their stretch of no rest is approaching.

Head coach Claude Julien had nothing but praise for his number one goaltender who has been playing very comfortable lately.

“He’s feeling good, so there was no hesitation putting him in tonight,” he said. “He did a great job again. There were some point blank shots there from the slot area that on a lot of occasions you probably would have seen a goal, but he stood tall, he challenged well and made those timely saves.”

Once again, the Bruins did not play a full 60 minutes as Julien has been preaching the entire season. It is scary to think Boston is 13-2-2 and their best hockey is ahead of them.

The Bruins will host the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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