With 2:33 remaining, Brad Marchand lit the lamp to snap a 1-1 tie and propel the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in game No. 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The triumph is the Bruins first over the Senators this season and marks the Black and Gold’s first postseason win since 2014.
The Bruins struggled to create any offense at the Canadian Tire Centre in the first two periods – including a 25:03 stretch in the second period without a shot on goal.
It was the Senators who drew first blood as Bobby Ryan was able to slip one past Tuukka Rask’s glove side 10:28 into the second frame to make it 1-0.
However, that would be Rask’s only blemish of the night as the netminder would settle down to shut out the Senators the rest of the way.
With just under five minutes remaining, Frank Vatrano buried a wirstshot past Craig Anderson to not the score at 1-1 and set up Marchand’s heroics.
With the absence of several key defenseman, such as Colin Miller, who exited in the first period, Torey Krug (lower body) and Brandon Carlo (concussion), extra pressure was put on Rask, and he delivered turning away 26 of 27 shots.
Filling in for the undermanned defense was Bruins’ top prospect Charlie McAvoy. The rookie looked poised throughout and was +1 on the evening.
Though, a cause for concern for the Bruins was their powerplay, which went 0-4 – including three opportunities in the first period.
The Bruins and Senators will square off Saturday at 3 p.m. in game No. 2.