Kuraly lifts Bruins past Senators


Sun, Apr 23, 2017 - Page 11

Sean Kuraly picked a great time to score his first two NHL goals.

Kuraly’s second goal of the game at 10 minutes, 19 seconds of the second overtime gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 on Friday night, avoiding elimination in the first-round series.

Charlie McAvoy’s shot from the right point was tipped by David Backes and then hit Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson’s skate in front of goalie Craig Anderson, and Kuraly backhanded it in.

“I was just at the tail end ... and the puck lands on my stick and then [I put] it into the back of the net,” Kuraly said. “Those are the good ones, you don’t get many of those, but hey it bounced on my stick and I’m happy that it did.”

David Pastrnak also scored and Tuukka Rask finished with 41 saves to help the Bruins rally from a 2-0 deficit early in the second period and cut the Senators’ lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Game 6 is today in Boston.

Boston nearly won it at 14 minutes, 25 seconds of the first overtime, but Noel Acciari’s apparent goal was waved off due to goalie interference when Kuraly tripped over Anderson. The Bruins challenged the call to no avail.

“We were just battling out there,” Boston captain Zdeno Chara said. “We were close and a few denied goals, but that’s just part of it and you have to battle through it and keep going and that’s what we did.”

Mark Stone and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators, while Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots.

Ottawa had two great chances to take the lead in the third, as the Bruins took a delay of game and a too many men penalty in the final six minutes of the period, but Ottawa managed just two shots on goal.

“We expected a hard-fought, long, grinding, grueling series and that’s what we’ve got,” Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf said. “I don’t know how to explain it any better than they’re pushing, we’re pushing and it goes to double overtime and anything can happen. It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to move on the same way that we moved on from the other couple that we won in overtime.”

Before Acciari’s near goal, the Bruins went on the power play on Clarke MacArthur’s high-sticking penalty, but could not get anything past Anderson.

“We knew it wasn’t going to come easy, it hasn’t come easy for us,” Backes said. “We were going to have to stay with it and stay with it and Tuukka made some huge saves and in the end we were able to tilt the scales in our favor, get that opportunity, make good on it and this is a tight series.”

In Washington, Capitals winger Justin Williams scored 64 seconds into overtime as Washington won a 2-1 thriller over the Toronto Maple Leafs to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Williams’ third goal of the playoffs and the 36th of his career in the post-season was keyed by a big face-off win from Jay Beagle and then set up from assists by Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Williams beat Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen through the five-hole and jumped into the arms of his teammates to celebrate a hard-fought win.

“To win a championship, you have to relish these moments and come up big in these moments,” Williams said.

Additional reporting by Reuters