The first game back after a long road trip is often termed a trap game and the Bruins experienced that to a degree on Thursday night, but they were still able to beat the Senators, 2-1, in overtime at TD Garden.
Patrice Bergeron had the game-winner after he deflected Dennis Seidenberg’s shot just enough to get past Ottawa (12-6-3) goaltender Robin Lehner (44 saves). It was Boston’s (13-2-2) fifth win in a row and it snapped Ottawa’s five-game win streak.
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The Bruins have earned points in 15 of their first 17 games this season and once again, Tuukka Rask (11-1-2) played a starring role in a win with 30 saves. The Senators are missing most of their skill players but they managed to dictate the slow, grinding tempo. All three goals scored by both teams were ugly. After a scoreless first period, Nathan Horton made it 1-0 Bruins on a shot he barely got anything on. The knuckleball effect worked in his favor as it got by Lehner, Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic had the assists.
Boston’s penalty kill had not allowed a goal in 27 straight opportunities before Ottawa’s Jim O’Brien took advantage of a huge scramble in front of Rask. Multiple Bruins had chances to clear it out but they couldn’t do it and O’Brien was rewarded. The Bruins top-ranked penalty kill redeemed itself though late in the third period and at the start of overtime when Lucic was called for closing his hand on the puck (a new rule).
Bergeron’s goal was reviewed but it was obvious to everybody after the replay that it would stand. The B’s are off Friday before a busy weekend: they host the Lightning (9-10-1) on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m., NESN) then the Canadiens (13-4-3) on Sunday night (7:30 p.m., NBCSN).
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate