Looking Back at the ’11-’12 Boston Bruins: January 31st, 2012

( Photo Credit: Damian Strohmeyer / Sports Illustrated )

By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff

Fresh off of the All-Star break, the Bruins returned to action at the Garden on January 31st against their division rivals, the Ottawa Senators. Boston came into this game sitting at 31-14-2, while the Senators were 27-19-6 sitting just above the .500 mark. The Bruins suited up without Andrew Ference, who was serving the last of his three-game suspension, and Nathan Horton, who was still working back from a concussion.

It was an eventful evening of hockey returning from the all-star break. The Bruins trailed 3-1 13 minutes into the second, but the Bruins clawed their way back and scored the game-winning goal in the third period from Dennis Seidenberg. It was also a pretty gritty game as there were two fights. So Bruins fans, let’s look back at this day in history for the Boston Bruins.

Tempers Boil Over in the First

The game was on, and Boston looked to start the second half of the season off strong. The Bruins came out with decent heat as Zdeno Chara and Benoit Pouliot had great chances to get on the board early, but Craig Anderson was there for the stops. Just seconds after the period’s halfway mark, Sergei Gonchar hooked down Brad Marchand, and Boston headed to the powerplay.

With the powerplays final seconds ticking down, Zdeno Chara sent a beautiful left-point slapshot by Craig Anderson and put Boston on top 1-0. 41 seconds after Chara put Boston on the board, Shawn Thornton and Chris Neil threw off the gloves for a heavyweight bout, and both were handed fighting majors.

The fighting wouldn’t stop there, though. A little over a minute later, Adam McQuaid and Zenon Konopka were now in a bout, McQuaid would land a handful of even punches, and both were now in the box for five. The first period was now in its final two minutes, and the Senators found a way to even up the score. Tim Thomas was able to kick out the initial shot, but Milan Michalek found Colin Greening in front, and Greening capitalized. The final 1:20 ticked off, and after one period, the Bruins and Senators were tied at one apiece.

Ottawa Pushes Out Front

The Second Period was now upon us, and both teams looked to pull ahead. With almost eight minutes gone in the second period, Ottawa was able to go up 2-1. Kyle Turris snapped a shot high on Tim Thomas from the left circle. Daniel Alfredsson was there for the nice cross-ice pass. As the period went on, the Senators continued to roll. At the 13:28 mark, Erik Karlsson and Chris Neil were on a two-on-one rush. Karlsson received a Neil feed and winged a shot past Tim Thomas, 3-1 Ottawa.

Boston now looked to climb out of the hole they dug and overcome a two-goal deficit. Forty-five seconds were left in the second period, and Milan Lucic sparked the comeback for the Bruins. The play started with an excellent net drive from David Krejci, which opened up a shooting lane for Lucic, who snapped the puck past Anderson. The rest of the period ticked away, and after 40 minutes, Ottawa was up 3-2. There was late-life from the Bruins, but Ottawa still controlled most of the second.

( Photo Credit: Barry Chin / The Boston Globe )

Bruins Complete the Comeback

Late-life from Boston in the second period was able to get them within one goal, so the Bruins looked to carry that momentum into the final 20 minutes. Forty-six seconds into the third, Erik Karlsson was called for tripping, and the Bruins had an early powerplay opportunity to tie the game. 1:34 later, Brad Marchand scored on the powerplay, and the game was tied at three. It was Boston’s second powerplay goal of the game and Marchand’s 18th goal of the season.

The Bruins were firing on all cylinders and looked to take the lead and finish off the Senators. The question was, who was going to come up big for Boston? The unexpected answer, Dennis Seidenberg. 7:09 into the third period, Seidenberg teed up a shot from half-ice and whistled the puck past Anderson to push ahead Boston 4-3. An Absolute lazer from Seidenberg and one of the craziest goals you’ll ever see.

Other than two penalties from Ottawa with under three minutes left in the game, there was not a lot of action happening. Ottawa could not tie the game, and Boston had successfully pulled off the comeback to beat Ottawa 4-3. It was a tight one for Boston, but they were able to pull out the victory and start the second half of the season on the right foot. Their next game would be on February 2nd against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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