Bruins maul Senators in Boston

The Boston Bruins are a team that’s built for the playoffs, a team that will grind it out and grind you down.

Bruins maul Senators in Boston
Jarome Iginla #12 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated by teammates Zdeno Chara #33, Milan Lucic #17, and David Krejci #46 following his goal in the second period against the Ottawa Senators during the game at TD Garden on December 27, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, Mass. — The Boston Bruins are a team that’s built for the playoffs, a team that will grind it out and grind you down.

Which is exactly what they did to the Ottawa Senators here on Friday night.

After getting a scare from the Senators in the first period, when they were outplayed and outshot 15-5, the Bruins asserted themselves in the second and third and wore the Senators down with their typically relentless, tight-checking and opportunistic game.

Eventually, the Senators cracked, made mistakes, and the Bruins made them pay, winning 5-0.

Reilly Smith had two goals for the Bruins, his team-leading 13th and 14th, Jarome Iginla had a power-play goal, and David Krejci got his eighth. Brad Marchand got his ninth, a short-handed one.

Robin Lehner faced 42 shots for the Senators while Tuukka Rask faced 33 for the Bruins to earn his fourth shutout of the year. He was great in the first period to give the Bruins a chance.

The teams will meet again Saturday night in Ottawa with Niklas Svedberg, recalled on Friday from the AHL Providence Bruins, expected to make his NHL debut against Craig Anderson.

The Senators played an excellent first period, getting a number of excellent chances.

But they had to survive a number of near misses, both involving Marchand, to get out of the period tied 0-0.

The first, about halfway through the period, had Marchand prematurely celebrating a shot that had hit the right post behind Lehner and deflected back out on a sharp angle through the left circle.

Marchand sold it well, raising his arms in triumph. But the refs weren’t having any of it.

The next episode came with about 1:40 left when the puck popped out of the Boston zone and headed for the Ottawa zone.

Marchand and Lehner were about equidistant from the puck.

For Lehner, it was the danger zone.

But he decided he could get to the puck before Marchand and made every highlight film in the country when he raced from his crease toward the puck, which was approaching the top of the left circle.

He got lucky. The foot race was a tie, the puck flew away from both of them in the collision of sticks, and the Senators were able to clear it.

Rask was equal to the task, stopping a tough wrist shot from Clarke MacArthur just 25 seconds in. In the 15th minute, he got lucky when a wrist shot from Milan Michalek went off the handle of his stick.

The tide shifted in the second as if the ice had tilted toward Lehner.

Badly outshot in the first, the Bruins came out hard, ultimately outshooting the Senators 20-8. Whether the Senators even had a shot that scared Rask was debatable.

For all that, though, the Senators kept it at 0-0 until Jared Cowen took a high-sticking penalty at 14:59 and Iginla scored 1:30 later.

Boston defenceman Torey Krug started the goal-scoring play with a slapshot from the blue line that hit Lucic and bounced to Iginla, who beat Lehner.

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GAME FILE

WHY THEY LOST

Along with the Penguins, the Bruins are the class of the Eastern Conference and gave the Senators a lesson in tough, tight-checking play … and the price you pay for mistakes.

CHEERS

Milan Lucic, Bruins

Played a quietly solid game. He got an assist on Iginla’s power-play goal and should have got one on Krejci’s goal. Raising his stock for the Olympics.

JEERS

Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Senators

His ill-timed decision to spring to Erik Condra’s defence, after Condra had been high-sticked by Reilly Smith, resulted in a roughing penalty and denied the Senators a power play opportunity.

HOME COOKING

The victory at TD Garden ran Boston’s home record to 16-3-2. They are now undefeated in their last eight home games, and they’re 13-0-2 in their last 15.

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