When he was healthy and on top of his game, his performance masked a lot of the flaws and the team won a lot of games (and he won a lot of awards).
Before Acciari’s near-goal, the Bruins went on the power play on Clarke MacArthur’s high-sticking penalty, but couldn’t get anything past Anderson. I just saw it on video after but it doesn’t really matter what I think.
The Bruins need a victory on Friday to force the series back to Boston. The Bruins remain without defencemen Adam McQuaid (upper body), Torey Krug (lower body) and Brandon Carlo (upper body).
Not that they’ve had much trouble with them in Boston. But one thing is guaranteed: Whether it’s Matthews’ team or Alex Ovechkin and Co. that move on, an even better play-making offense, not to mention one that will have a little extra rest, awaits in the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the Ducks’ first four-game sweep since they eliminated Winnipeg in the first round in 2015 and just the fifth in franchise history. Every game of this series has been decided by just one goal, including the pair that Ottawa won in overtime by identical 4-3 scores.
The true tipping point in the series could be goaltending. The Senators outshot the Bruins 20-18, but Anderson had to step up as well. Krejci, who led the National Hockey League in postseason scoring during both the 2011 and 2013 season, finished this year with zero points and just three shots on goal over three playoff tilts.
Neither goaltender had been particularly spectacular leading up to Wednesday’s game. Patrice Bergeron pushed an Ottawa player right into the side of the net, putting the Senators on the power play just 36 seconds in.
It’s been an unpredictable year for Anderson all around, of course. Five more came his way in a slogfest of a second period. He played in only four games this year, without recording a point. If the Bruins aren’t in the playoff race at next season’s deadline and the Senators are, maybe Pierre Dorion can add Zdeno Chara as a rental.
His first few games of the postseason were only salvageable because Rask was equally unimpressive, though.
Rask made 26 saves in the loss.
Ottawa forward Viktor Stalberg played 13:27 after he was a game-time decision because of an undisclosed injury.
The Bruins didn’t help themselves, of course.
“You get the playoffs and there’s no lead that’s big enough to say that you’re going to get away with it”, said Ottawa coach Guy Boucher.
He and the Senators, who face Boston in a potentially decisive Game 5 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Ottawa, are one win away from moving on to the second round against either the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Rangers.
Despite outshooting Boston 14-12 in the first, it was the Bruins who had more scoring chances.
The Senators have three chances to end their first round series with the Bruins, but obviously, and especially since each game has been so close where a single bounce or call could have drastically affected the outcome, they want to end it as soon as humanly possible.
The lineups have been similarly matched in opportunities.
Unfortunately, the fellow with the puck running the show for the Senators is often defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has enjoyed a brilliant series.
There’s no clear way of knowing if he’ll be up to that task.
Ross: About as confident as I was before Game 4.