OTTAWA — The Bruins came up one period short Friday night — short of energy, short of execution, short of thinking — and watched their 2-1 third-period lead rapidly collapse en route to a 4-2 loss to the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Senators, whitewashed at home earlier this week by the Flyers, scored three times in a span of 8:39 in the third to seal the win. Jason Spezza (1:32), Jared Cowen (5:42), and Bobby Ryan (10:11) all took advantage of a Boston defense that clearly grew tired through the night.
Fresh off their 4-0-1 homestand, the Bruins jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes on goals by Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand.
Eriksson’s strike, his second in two nights, came with 6:03 gone after Patrice Bergeron pulled a puck back to Matt Bartkowski near the top of the right wing faceoff circle. Bartkowski unloaded a slapper that Eriksson gave a final touch to in front of goalie Craig Anderson for the lead.
Next, with 9:50 gone, Marchand sniped home the 2-0 lead, with Bartkowski making the key feed to an advancing Marchand. The Li’l Ball o’ Hate closed to the slot, between the circles, and wristed a laser to the top right corner, beating Anderson glove side.
Rubbed out, 5-0, by the Flyers here Tuesday, the Senators finally chipped back with a goal when Chris Neil connected with a wrister with 50 seconds remaining in the first. Boston rookie defenseman Torey Krug made the critical mistake, his pass from behind his own blue line getting picked off the pesky Senators forward.
Neither side scored in the second, when the Bruins narrowly outshooting the Senators, 9-7.
Marchand left the lineup temporarily in the second when a Dennis Seidenberg shot dropped him in the slot, seeming to catch the Bruins left winger in the shin/knee area. But after a quick visit to the dressing room, Marchand was back without missing a shift.
With only 1:32 gone in the third, the Senators pulled even, 2-2, when Spezza collected a slap pass down low from Erik Karlsson and roofed it over a fallen Rask.
Cowen then provided the first Ottawa lead of the night when he fired in a long-range slapper that went through Johnny Boychuk’s legs before it went by Rask. And then Ryan provided the final goal, stripping Reilly Smith of the puck deep in Boston’s end and wristing a shot through Rask.