OTTAWA â€” Bruce Cassidy and the Boston Bruins pride themselves on their ability to close out games.
They weren’t able to do that Saturday.
The Bruins let a two-goal lead slip in the third period before falling 4-3 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators in Game 2, leaving their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final tied at a game apiece.
Boston hosts the next two games at TD Garden Monday and Wednesday.
“It’s disappointing. Generally we’re pretty good at closing out games,” the Bruins coach said.
“I’m not going to sit up here and tell you I’m satisfied with a split. We were 20 minutes away from being up 2-0. No matter where we play we’re a good hockey team, home or on the road. We have a game plan and that’s to win the game, so we’re disappointed, plain and simple.”
After giving up two third-period goals in a 2-1 loss Wednesday in Game 1, the Senators got third-period goals from Chris Wideman and Derick Brassard and an overtime winner from Dion Phaneuf Saturday.
The Bruins said they were conscious of a push back from the Senators in the third period.
“We were expecting that. We were playing on our heels and were fine just getting the puck in deep,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. “I guess we tried to play too defensive and they made us pay.
“Playoffs are an up-and-down kind of animal and they had a push in the third like we did the last game. It’s going to be a tough series. We have to step up and all be better. It’s the playoffs and no one feels sorry for us. We’ll take it a day at a time I guess.”
Drew Stafford, who gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the second period, says the team has to put Saturday’s game behind them and get ready for the next two games at home.
“We’ll have to find a way, regroup tomorrow and get ready to play in front of our fans and we’re looking forward to that,” he said.
“They capitalized on their chances but we’re in here for each other and we pick each other up. Now we’ll get ready to put a show on for our fans.”
Darren Desaulniers, The Canadian Press