OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators finally reclaimed the keys to their house from the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
With three unanswered goals in the third period, the Senators stormed back to beat the Bruins 4-2 in front of 19,538 fans at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Bruins won the previous 11 meetings between the two teams in Ottawa dating back to April 7, 2009.
The Senators, who trailed 2-0 in the first period, won for the fourth time in their last five games. The loss stopped a Bruins victory streak at four games.
The Senators third-period rally started in the second minute, when defenseman Erik Karlsson set up center Jason Spezza at the side of the net. From there, Spezza had no problem ending his personal four-game slump with his ninth of the season.
Moments after the Bruins had a goal waved off because it was ruled the puck crossed the line after the whistle, Senators defenseman Jared Cowen took a shot from the point that hit the skate of a Bruins player and slipped past Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask. Senators winger Bobby Ryan added an insurance marker when he stripped Bruins winger Reilly Smith of the puck just inside the Boston blue line then beat Rask with a shot between the pads.
Goalie Craig Anderson was solid in the Senators net, stopping 30 shots. The Senators fired 31 shots at Rask.
The Senators appeared to be fading from this one when winger Chris Neil had a momentum changing shift late in the first period. Neil nailed Bruins defenseman Tory Krug with a big hit at the Boston blue line and then, just moment later, beat Rask with a wrist shot just inside the post.
The Bruins, who entered the night with a 9-1-0 record in games they’ve scored first, got off to the fast start they wanted. Center Patrice Bergeron beat Spezza on a faceoff, and winger Loui Eriksson was credited with deflecting home a slap shot by defenseman Matt Bartkowski at the 6:03 mark of the first period to put the visitors in the lead.
Less than four minutes later, Bruins winger Brad Marchand made it 2-0 when he was allowed to cruise into the slot and beat Anderson with a wrist shot off the glove side post.
NOTES: Senators G Craig Anderson started for the second game in a row despite his 3-8-0 record lifetime against the Bruins. He was 0-4 since last winning a game on Oct. 23 but started instead of Robin Lehner, the only Senators goalie to beat the Bruins in the previous 15 meetings between the clubs. “Craig is our No. 1 goalie,” Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said before the game. “And (the coin) came up heads.” … Bruins D Dennis Seidenberg played in his 600th NHL game. … The Bruins entered the game with a string of successful penalty kills that had reached 26. … Despite inconsistency through the first part of the schedule, the Senators entered with a 6-1-2 record against Eastern Conference opponents.