GARRIOCH GAME REPORT: Sabourin OK after scary collision in Senators loss to Bruins - Ottawa Sun

GARRIOCH GAME REPORT: Sabourin OK after scary collision in Senators  loss to Bruins - Ottawa Sun
Not only was there a scary scene as winger Scott Sabourin lay motionless and was taken off on a stretcher in the first period with the crowd sitting in stunned silence, but the Senators also came up short in a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden to start this trip that continues Monday against the New York Rangers and Tuesday in Brooklyn versus the Islanders.

Still, what really mattered was an update from the club that indicated Sabourin was doing much better when he was taken to hospital.

“Our guys’ hearts sunk for a long time,” said goaltender Craig Anderson. “It’s difficult. He’s a great guy in the room, he’s pretty easygoing, a great attitude, he made the team as a tryout, he plays hard for us and to see him laying there is definitely hard. It made us realize it’s a game and that everyone’s okay when the game’s over.”

While the rugged winger gave a thumbs-up to the crowd as both the Senators and Bruins left their benches to wish him well when he was taken off the ice, the Senators also later confirmed Sabourin, who grew up in Orléans, was doing OK.

“It’s very unfortunate,” said coach D.J. Smith. “You don’t want to see anyone — anyone on either team — laying motionless like that on the ice. Our players were emotional and so were their guys. It’s just an unfortunate situation.

“He was conscious leaving. I don’t know the exact injury. They’re going to keep him overnight, but he was conscious and speaking. We’ll know (Sunday).”

Sabourin was along the boards when he the Bruins’ David Backes went to hit each other, and it looked like his head may have made contact with Backes’ head before hitting the ice. Medical personnel from both teams and doctors immediately rushed to his aid while a stretcher was brought out.

“Obviously you’re at a loss for words and it was pretty emotional on the ice at the time,” said defenceman Dylan DeMelo. “It’s just scary. Sabby has meant so much to our group. He plays hard, he plays the right way and he gives us energy on that fourth line.

Wishing Scott Sabourin a speedy and complete recovery. I hate to see anyone laid out but especially a guy who has worked so hard to make it to the NHL. #ScottSabourin

“To see him go down like that, in the condition he was in, was very scary and very sad and we hope that he’s doing well right now. We hope he gets a speedy recovery … Anytime a guy is laying motionless in a puddle of blood, it’s pretty scary.”

The fact the players from both benches went on the ice to wish Sabourin well says a lot about the way the game is played and the respect they have for each other.

“This is a sport with a lot of competition, animosity, hatred and all that, but at the end of the day we’re all brothers in this game,” said alternate captain Mark Borowiecki, who skated to try to help medical personnel come on the ice. “We’re all brothers in this game and we’re all doing this because we love the sport and it’s our livelihood.

“I don’t know the exact injury but they’re going to keep him overnight. He was conscious and speaking. We’ll know more tomorrow morning.” #Sens head coach D.J. Smith gives an update on Scott Sabourin and more following tonights emotional game against the Bruins.

Sabourin wasn’t the only one to leave with an injury. The Senators finished without centre Logan Brown, who left in the first period with what appeared to be an arm injury. Smith said that was done for precautionary reasons.

Ottawa Senators right wing Connor Brown (28) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Boston Bruins during the second period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports

The Senators gave the Bruins everything they had, but couldn’t stop Boston, which struck for three in the third period.

While Anthony Duclair and Connor Brown did the scoring for the Senators, Danton Heinen, Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk scored in the third to give Boston the win. David Pastrnak scored and had a three-point effort while Patrice Bergeron also chipped in a goal on Anderson.

Tuukka Rask was strong for the Bruins and made key saves to shut down Ottawa.

Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) scores a power-play goal on Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) during the first period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a five-day break after a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks last Sunday at home, Smith was well aware the Bruins were going to be a difficult test with a 5-0-1 record at the Garden going into this one.

Through 40 minutes, the Senators were toe-to-toe with the Bruins, with score tied 2-2.

As if the Bruins needed it, they were able to get momentum after the Senators did everything but score on an extended power play in the second. That came after pest Marchand was given a double-minor for spearing DeMelo, plus a roughing penalty. Ottawa had countless chances, but just couldn’t cash in on Rask.

Linesman Steve Miller (89) separates Boston Bruin Brad Marchand (63) and Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom (26) during the second period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports

“That’s Brad Marchand and that’s what he does,” DeMelo said. “It wasn’t a bad spear, just a one-hander in the side of the gut, but that’s what he does. That his antics. He’s such a good player in this league. He walks that line and sometimes he goes over it. It would have been nice to score and make him pay for that one but we weren’t able to.”

Really, the Senators did everything on that power play but score, and it must have hurt even more when Marchand scored with the man advantage at 6:50 of the third. That was Boston’s second goal in a span of 1:07. Heinen beat Anderson after some good work in the Ottawa zone at 5:43.

Give the Senators credit in this one, they kept battling back. Not long after Bergeron gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 1:51 of the second, the Senators came back to tie it up when Connor Brown was able to beat Rask for his second of the season. That was at 3:04 of the period and came at a point when the Senators needed one.

Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) skates with the puck around Ottawa Senators left wing Anthony Duclair (10) during the first period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports

After play resumed in the first following the injury to Sabourin, Duclair tied it up by beating Rask at 12:04, and that was key for the Senators.

The Senators were down 1-0 before they even had a chance to get used to playing again. It was Pastrnak who opened the scoring only 1:17 into the first. With Ottawa serving a too many men on the ice penalty, Pastrnak picked up a perfect bounce pass off the boards from Torey Krug and beat Anderson.


Smith has a lot of respect for Boston captain Zdeno Chara and the way he’s able to perform at a high level at 42 years old.

Smith and Chara are the same age. In fact, they faced off against each other in the minors when Smith was a player with the St. John’s Maple Leafs. Chara, who spent four seasons with the Senators before signing with the Bruins as a UFA in July 2006.

Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) scores a power-play goal on Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports

“The biggest thing with Chara is not only is he still good, he gives that team confidence, he boxes (the opposition) out and he does it right off the ice,” Smith said. “It’s not just his involvement, it’s his off-the-ice presence he has to hold their players accountable, and he’s continued to do it for years.

“It’s amazing. You have to credit that to the fact he’s big on his diet, rest, training and all these things. He’s prepared years in advance so he could be at this level. He didn’t just start this at 42 so he could be at this level. He made a decision early in his career he wanted to play for a long time and he’s done that to keep playing.”


Artem Anisimov wasn’t in the lineup Saturday and the hope is he’ll be able to resume skating with the Senators next week when they’re back in Ottawa.

He is sidelined with a lower-body injury that bothered him early in the season. Anisimov tried to play through it before the decision was made to shut him down. He missed his seventh game in the past eight and his fourth straight. The Senators are going to err on the side of caution with this one and he didn’t make the trip.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save on a shot by Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) during the second period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports

“(Anisimov) skated the last two days and he’ll skate again this weekend,” Smith said. “He’ll probably join us in practice (later this week). We could probably rush him in, but I don’t see any point. These young kids are playing hard and we’re getting a good look at them, so let’s make sure he’s 100 per cent.”

As for forward Rudolfs Balcers, who has been out since camp with a lower-body injury, he is expected to start skating this week. Smith indicated last week that Balcers, when ready to play, will likely need a stint with the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville before making a return.

Linesman Steve Miller (89) is helped off of the ice by linesman Scott Cherrey (50) and Ottawa Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki (74) during the third period of a game against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports


The Senators tried to accomplish as much as they could in their break in the schedule by working on every aspect of the game.

“We had a good week of practice,” said alternate captain Jean-Gabriel Pageau. “After a win (against San Jose) the enthusiasm is really good and the energy was good so it was good to have that week.”

The Senators know there aren’t many breaks left in the schedule, so this one worked out well and there was a lot of hard work done. The club did have Monday and Wednesday off, but Ottawa is pretty much playing every second day, with back-to-backs mixed in as well.

“It’s not a bye week and we’ve had some good practices that have given us a chance to work on some little details that we still want to improve in our game,” Pageau said. “We’re just excited because it’s been a week of practice and we like to play games way more than practising.”

Boston Bruin Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with right wing David Pastrnak (88) behind Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) during the third period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports


GM Pierre Dorion rejoined the team Saturday in Boston. He was on the West Coast last week to see Winnipeg-Anaheim on Tuesday, Vancouver-Los Angeles on Wednesday and Calgary-Nashville on Thursday. Dorion is always active working the phones and will make a move to help the club if he can find the right fit. … Coming back to Beantown still means a lot to winger Brady Tkachuk. He spent Friday with his girlfriend, who’s a student at Boston University. He expected to have 10 to 15 members of his family and some friends on hand for this one. “I love it. There’s so many great memories here and my dad (Keith’s) side of the family is still here and it’s great to see them,” Tkachuk said before the game. “(His parents) usually spend their summers in Cape Cod and there’s a lot of great memories from (playing for Boston University). To go back to BU and hang out there was definitely some good memories.” … Smith opted not to make any changes. That meant veteran forwards Bobby Ryan and Mikkel Boedker were scratched. You have to think it’s just a matter of time before the 32-year-old Ryan returns, but there’s a chance he may have to get used to it because he could regularly be scratched. There is no trade market for Ryan. … Even after going to the Cup final last spring, the Bruins don’t look like they’ve missed a beat. “We didn’t play great early on (in the season), but we found ways to win and that’s because we’re a veteran team that finds ways to win,” coach Bruce Cassidy said before facing Ottawa. “The last few games we’ve been pretty good and that’s more what we’re used to.” Cassidy said he knows there’s going to be a lull, but feels the players will be able to deal with it when it happens.

Boston Bruins centre Charlie Coyle (13) controls the puck in front of Ottawa Senators defenceman Dylan DeMelo (2) during the first period at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports


Dylan DeMelo expands his role

Through 40 minutes, DeMelo had played 15:15 and was headed for another 20-plus minutes for the second straight game.

Lots of juggling

With Logan Brown and Scott Sabourin leaving the game in the first, the club had only 10 forwards, and that meant plenty of different combinations.

Marchand is capable of anything

Brad Marchand was given a double-minor for spearing DeMelo in the second and another for roughing. A dirty play. Wonder if there will be discipline?

Bruins have no shortage of talent

The go-ahead goal by Patrice Bergeron on a setup from David Pastrnak at 1:51 of the second was just picture-perfect in a lot of ways.

Waiting game will come to an end

Defenceman Cody Goloubef, who sat for the 12th straight game Saturday, will make his debut either Monday against the Rangers or Tuesday in Brooklyn versus the Isles.
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