OTTAWA — Approximately halfway through Sunday’s third period, Joe Morrow carried the puck into the offensive zone. The defenseman thought he had a chance to score. Craig Anderson thought otherwise.
What might have been a chance to tie the game ended up being one of Anderson’s 38 saves.
“You kind of dream of those,” Morrow said after the Bruins’ 3-1 loss to the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. “Especially when you don’t score, you hit yourself in the head. Maybe I’m a little rusty. Usually those will go in for me. Hopefully next time it will. You’ve got to capitalize on those. It would have turned around the whole game.”
The Bruins played pretty well, especially for the first 40 minutes. In the first period, they hammered Anderson with 16 pucks. They followed up in the second with 15 more, with one requiring video review to determine its resting point behind the Ottawa goal line.
But the Bruins’ legs and hands went dry in the third period. Anderson stopped all eight shots.
At the other end, the Senators scored a power-play goal off a strange bounce, a five-on-five follow-up strike, and an empty-netter at 19:06 of the third.
“I don’t think you have to second-guess that the effort wasn’t good enough,” said coach Claude Julien. “At the end of the day, they took advantage of their chances and made the most of it. We had ours. We had lots of them. Their goalie played well for them tonight.”
It was the Bruins’ third straight loss. They have had two other three-game losing streaks. They have not dropped four in a row.
“You’re going to face adversity at some point of the season. You’ve got to be able to handle it,” Julien said. “We’re facing it right now. Are we getting puck luck? Maybe not. But you’ve got to battle through it. There’s nothing you can do about it that’s going to help you except work through it. We’ve just got to keep our heads up here and plug away.”
The Bruins started the game without Torey Krug. They finished it without David Krejci because of an upper-body injury. Krejci played 14:25 through two periods, second-most of any Bruin behind Zdeno Chara (17:09). He scored his team’s only goal.
But Krejci did not skate a single shift in the third period. His status for Tuesday’s rematch at TD Garden is unknown. Ryan Spooner moved up from the third line to the second to center Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson in the third.
“He’s a big piece, that’s for sure, when he goes down,” said Beleskey, Krejci’s left wing. “I thought Spoons did a great job stepping up and playing some more minutes. That’s a big loss for us.”
Krejci didn’t even think he scored his team’s lone goal. In the second period, Krejci walked the puck out from behind the goal line and tried a short-range shot. Anderson appeared to smother the puck with his left pad and stick. Krejci looked up to the ceiling in frustration.
But referees Francis Charron and Eric Furlatt huddled while the goal was reviewed. Replay showed that the puck had crossed the line before Anderson brought it back.
It was the only puck that eluded the Ottawa goalie. He did his best work in the first two periods.
Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, turned back 19 shots. He couldn’t have done anything about the two that hit the back of his net.
At the end of the first, the Senators went on the power play after Jimmy Hayes was tagged with instigating. Hayes had chased after Mark Borowiecki after the hard-nosed defenseman flattened Frank Vatrano.
On the power play, Mark Stone held the puck behind the goal line. He tried to connect with help up top. The puck never made it through. Stone’s pass glanced off the right skate of Dennis Seidenberg and skittered past a helpless Rask at 19:41 for the game’s opening goal.
At 18:21 of the second, Mika Zibanejad busted a 1-1 tie and scored the winner. Mike Hoffman started the rush by slipping past Brett Connolly in open ice. Hoffman advanced the puck to Bobby Ryan, who slipped a shot on net. Rask kicked out Ryan’s shot with his right pad. Before Adam McQuaid could find the rebound, Zibanejad swooped in and swatted home the puck.
Stone added an empty-netter.
“We controlled most of the game,” Morrow said. “Sometimes the puck goes your way. Sometimes it doesn’t. We definitely have to find a way to score those goals at very important parts of the game and not turn the puck over like we did a couple times. It’s a game of mistakes. They just capitalized on ours. We couldn’t capitalize on theirs. That’s how it goes.”