BOSTON – Dennis Seidenberg wound up and stepped into a slapshot from centre ice, hoping just to get the puck deep into Ottawa’s zone or maybe generate a quick rebound.
Seidenberg was as surprised as anyone else to see the puck skip off the ice, then get past Senators goalie Craig Anderson for the tiebreaking goal with 12:51 left as the Boston Bruins rallied for a 4-3 win on Tuesday night.
“I don’t know if it was a lucky bounce or the way it came off of my stick,” Seidenberg said. “It just seemed to bounce off the ice and kind of was rising up and it was tough to read I guess for him and somehow it went in.”
“Somehow” was just fine with the Bruins, who had allowed 10 goals in their previous two games and were badly outplayed in the second period Tuesday night, falling behind 3-1 before Milan Lucic’s goal with 45 seconds left in the period got Boston within one.
Brad Marchand pounced on a rebound and tied it early in the third, then Seidenberg stunned everybody in the building.
“It took a one-bouncer and it hit my stick and went in,” Anderson said. “Just one of those things where I’ve got to make the save but, at the same time it took a crazy bounce.”
Zdeno Chara had a power-play goal and an assist and Joe Corvo assisted twice as Boston defencementotalled six points in the game.
Ottawa had a chance to pull within two points of the Bruins for the Northeast Division lead. Instead, Boston won its 11th straight over a division opponent and is just one point behind the New York Rangers for the Eastern Conference lead.
Tim Thomas was welcomed with his usual warm greeting during introductions in his first home game since he sat out the Bruins’ visit to the White House last week, saying he believes the federal government “has grown out of control.”
“I didn’t take it for granted,” Thomas said. “I was mentally prepared either way.”
If any fans were upset with Thomas’ political statement, it didn’t show and Thomas helped his own public relations campaign by shutting down the Senators after falling behind 3-1. Thomas finished with 30 saves.
“I just saw them cheering him,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “Everybody was probably waiting to see what the reaction was going to be, so it was pretty clear that they still respect him for his hockey skills, and they certainly are not holding anything against him for his view on the rest.”
Seidenberg put Boston ahead as he fired a low shot just after crossing the red line and the puck whistled through to the net.
Anderson finished with 26 saves. He couldn’t control a rebound and Marchand whacked at it until it went in for the tying goal, then was stunned by Seidenberg’s blast from the Bruins’ logo a few minutes later.
The Senators have lost four straight — all on the road after setting a franchise record with a point in 11 straight road games.
“We scored three 5-on-5 goals against a really good defensive team. Five-on-five we were the better team, so it’s frustrating to lose this one,” said Daniel Alfredsson, who had an assist for Ottawa. “I don’t know how we don’t win it.”
The Senators controlled the second period, playing like they were on a power play for most of it even though they never had a man advantage. Ottawa outshot Boston 13-5 in the period and got goals from Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson to take a 3-1 lead.
Turris fired an unscreened shot past Thomas with 12:17 left in the second for a 2-1 lead. Karlsson put Ottawa up by two with a wrist shot from the left circle that also got past Thomas.
Boston finally broke Ottawa’s grip on the period in the final minute and Lucic took advantage on a shot from the slot that got Boston within 3-2 with 45 seconds left.
“We recognized that we weren’t playing very well. We weren’t happy with our D and if we planned on wining we had to be a lot better in the third period,” Julien said. “That goal kind of gave us some hope.”
Ottawa tied it one-all when Colin Greening one-timed a pass from Milan Michalek in the slot. Michalek got the puck after Filip Kuba’s blast from the point hit Thomas hard in the left pad and the rebound bounced right to Michalek at the right circle.
Boston had taken a 1-0 lead on Chara’s slapshot from the point on a power play, his first goal in 17 games — not counting his goal Sunday in the all-star game while leading Team Chara to victory.
Notes: The Senators did not have a power play. … Ottawa, which hosted the all-star game over the weekend, will play its first home game since Jan. 16 on Friday against the Islanders. … Boston F Nathan Horton missed his second straight game with a mild concussion. … Boston D Andrew Ference sat out the final game of a three-game suspension for a hit on the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh on Jan. 21.