Fraser Laser heads keys to Bruins’ 4-2 win
Last May, the Bruins were down two games to one against the Canadiens in a scoreless Game 4 of the second round of the playoffs when Matt Fraser poked a slow roller past Carey Price in OT in Montreal to even that series at 2-2.
It was Fraser’s first playoff game of his career.
Saturday night – in just his third game of this season – Fraser took control in the second period with the game tied at 1-1.
At 11:14, a Fraser laser off the rebound of a Carl Soderberg blast at 11:14 put the B’s up 2-1 for Fraser’s first point of the season. A minute and a half later, Fraser was back it when he wristed a top-shelf 15-footer past Robin Lehner for what turned out to be the game-winning goal; Soderberg again assisting at 12:42.
“I don’t know if the net looked that big or my eyes were big. I pride myself on making sure those opportunities get to the back of the net,” the game’s No. 1 star said.
“He certainly didn’t miss his opportunity tonight,” Claude Julien said about Fraser’s heroics amid rumors of a three-year contract extension being signed by Julien earlier.
On Boston.com: Last minute decision works out well for Fraser
The offensive show by the Black-and-Gold—only the fifth time this season they have scored four or more goals – was complemented by the stellar play of the young trio of starting defensemen.
David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman, and Joe Morrow logged a total of 53:12 ice time on 74 shifts with a plus-3 final rating. Not bad for three kids who played a combined nine games so far entering Saturday night’s 13th game of the season.
“Our young players did a great job breaking out of our own end with a young D,” Julien said. “They handled themselves well under pressure. Those young guys just jumped on the [veteran’s] backs.”
That effort led, in large part, to keeping Ottawa’s shots on net at a lowly 15 through the first two periods, while Fraser did his thing, giving the B’s the two-goal lead entering the third period.
“They’ve been very poised with the puck and playing consistent hockey,” veteran Dennis Seidenberg said about the young trio.
Seidenberg nailed the Sens’ coffin shut at 2:08 of the third, adding what turned out to be an insurance tally.
Warsofsky, a nearby Marshfield native, also played three years up Storrow Drive from TD Garden at BU where his Terriers won the national championship his freshman year in 2009.
“Aside from a few hiccups, everyone [of us three] wants to play their best every night,” Warsofsky said.
Is there competition among them?
“We’re all good friends,” he smiled, “but our goal is to stick here and play in the NHL.
“It’s always good to play in front of the home crowd,” he said about his provincial roots. “Playing at BU, you play in the Beanpot here and Hockey East finals. To put on the Bruins sweater is something very special.”
So are Patrice Bergeron’s faceoff proclivities that earned him a No. 3 star recognition. The Bruins assistant captain entered the game leading the NHL in faceoff proficiency since the start of the 2011-12 season at 59.8%. It is 63.5% so far this season.
Hiding in the game-summary sheet is Boston’s first goal, a bang-bang play set up by a clinic-type Bergeron face-off to Lehner’s left. A perfect draw right back to Brad Marchand’s stick sent a 20-foot wrist shot that trickled by Lehner at 18:54 for Marchand’s fourth goal of the season.
“Bergie’s always been good on his draws; that one was perfect,” Marchand said.
Related: Brad Marchand finding his groove
That proved a key tally when Ottawa tied the game right after with 27 seconds left in the first frame.
Ironically, Bergeron clanged Lehner’s post early in the first period on the Bruins very first shot on goal.
Rask’s 27 saves earned him the No. 2 star.
“It’s important for us to come out there and be a good team tonight.” Julien said before the game.
That – the Bruins did to put them over .500 for the first time since opening night.
See what Fraser, Marchand, Rask and Julien had to say after their victory over the Sens last night