Last night, in the final Pre-Season game of 2011 at the TD Garden, the Boston Bruins fell to the visiting Ottawa Senators, 2-1. It was the Bruins who would get on the board first, when Milan Lucic scored Boston’s 6th Power-Play goal in 4 games. Good puck possession, in the offensive zone from Boston’s 2nd line, of Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand lead to the Senators” Zenon Konopka taking a hooking penalty. Soon after, Boston’s top line was able to formulate some beautiful triangle offense, that was capped off by Lucic tapping home a feed from David Krecji.
The Bruins carried the play for most of the night, even out-shooting the Senators 40-20, over the course of three periods. For most of the night, it looked as if Ottawa was a tired team, and if the Bruins could manage to put a few more passed Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, the Senators would simply cave. However, at 5:10 of the 3rd period, it was the long-time Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson who tied the game, off of a nice feed from behind the net by former Cornell University star, Colin Greening. Unfortunately for the Bruins, in a game that had 11 penalties called, it was Boston who ended up with the last one, when Rich Peverley took a 4-minute double-minor for high-sticking at 15:02 of the 3rd period. A mere :57 seconds into the extended Ottawa Power-Play, Senators’ rookie defenseman David Rundblad blasted a slap-shot from the left point that deflected off the skate of B’s defender Adam McQuaid, and past Tim Thomas, to put Ottawa ahead 2-1. Boston would go on to kill the 2nd half of Peverley’s penalty, but ultimately were not able to solve Senators’ goaltender Craig Anderson for a 2nd time.
As is the case with all pre-season games, the result is not important. The Bruins very evidently out-played Ottawa for most of the night, but were simply stymied by goaltender Craig Anderson. Perhaps a bigger loss for the Bruins, on Thursday evening, was that of the injury suffered by young defenseman Steven Kampfer. Kampfer, who scored 5 goals, and added 5 assists in 38 games with the Bruins last season, went down in the 3rd period with an apparent leg injury after a collision with an Ottawa forward. After a Friday morning MRI, it was revealed that Kampfer has suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee. Lucky for Boston, the injury is only expected to keep Kampfer out of action for 2-4 weeks. That comes as fantastic news, as after watching the play, it appeared as if the injury had the potential to be much more serious. Unfortunately for Kampfer this is already the 3rd injury in his brief NHL career. On March 3, Kampfer suffered a mild concussion after taking a hit during the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then, on April 9, while playing for the AHL’s Providence Bruins, he suffered a minor injury to his right knee, which would keep him out for the entire 2011 playoffs. Hopefully for Kampfer, he is able to recover quickly and get back into the Bruins’ line-up. In the meantime, it will be former Ohio State University defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who will fill in the 7th spot on Boston’s blue line. Bartkowski appeared in 6 NHL contests with the B’s last season, scoring 0 points, with 4 PIMs and a plus/minus of -1.
In their final pre-season tune-up of the year, the Bruins will travel to Bridgeport, CT on Saturday night, to take on the New York Islanders at the Webster Bank Arena. Tomorrow night’s line-up has not yet been released, but with 28 players still in camp, at least a few more cuts should be expected, following the conclusion of the game. With the Bruins set to embark on their annual team-building trip early on Sunday morning, it seems as if the roster will be trimmed down to 23 or less, immediately after Saturday’s game. Currently, there are 18 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 3 goalies on the roster.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.