OTTAWA — Sean Kuraly picked the right time to score his first two NHL goals.
Ottawa had a chance to win and move on, but the Bruins staved off elimination when Kuraly scored his second goal of the game in double overtime Friday night to give Boston a 3-2 victory.
The Senators lead the Eastern Conference quarter-final series 3-2. Game 6 is Sunday in Boston.
Kuraly scored the winner at 10:19 of the second overtime, stunning the 19,209 on hand at Canadian Tire Centre.
“I was just at the tail end of (my shift) and the puck lands on my stick and then (I put) it into the back of the net,” said Kuraly. “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.”
The Senators got the start they wanted and took an early lead, but knew the Bruins would come out with its best effort.
“We expected a hard fought, long, grinding, gruelling series and that’s what we’ve got,” said Ottawa’s Dion Phaneuf.
“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.”
The Bruins scored three unanswered goals after spotting the Senators a 2-0 lead as they fought to keep their season alive.
“We were just battling out there,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “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.”
David Pastrnak also scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask stopped 41 shots.
Mark Stone and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators as Craig Anderson made 36 saves.
“I don’t think we gave it away, they played hard,” said Anderson. “They got a couple of bounces that went their way and we just didn’t get any bounces our way after we got (the lead).”
The Bruins had the best chances to end the game in the first overtime.
Boston failed to capitalize on the power play when Clarke MacArthur was called for high sticking and then had Noel Acciari’s goal called back at 14:25 due to goalie interference. The Bruins challenged the call to no avail.
“We knew it wasn’t going to come easy, it hasn’t come easy for us and 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 favour, get that opportunity, make good on it and this is a tight series,” said Boston’s David Backes.
The Senators had two great chances to win the game in the third as the Bruins took a delay of game and too many men penalty in the final six minutes of the period, but Ottawa managed just two shots on goal.
Ottawa was 0 for 5 with the man advantage, while the Bruins were 0 for 3.
Trailing 2-0 after the Senators scored in the opening minute of the second, Boston scored twice to tie things up.
Ottawa scored just 30 seconds into the period when the Bruins defence was caught flat-footed. Pageau was able to break in alone and beat Rask through the legs.
Brad Marchand helped cut the lead in half when he took the puck behind the Senators net and made a cross-crease pass to Pastrnak, who beat Anderson short side at 8:40.
Boston tied the game at 17:05 of the period as Kuraly scored his first ever NHL goal with a bank shot from the side of the net.
“You get the playoffs and there’s no lead that’s big enough to say that you’re going to get away with it,” said Ottawa coach Guy Boucher. “It’s not because we started playing differently, they just scored. We didn’t do anything different.
“It’s one of those games that could go either way and it didn’t go our way.”
The Senators took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Mike Hoffman made a great pass to Stone, who slipped behind the Bruins defence and beat Rask on the backhand.
An already depleted Bruins lineup took another hit as David Krejci left the game late in the first after a collision with Chris Wideman. The Senators lost Viktor Stalberg in the first overtime and is considered day-to-day.
Notes: C Chris Kelly was in the Senators lineup for first time, replacing the injured Tom Pyatt. D Mark Borowiecki (lower body, day-to-day). RW Chris Neil, C Tommy Wingels were healthy scratches. The Bruins remain without defencemen Adam McQuaid (upper body), Torey Krug (lower body) and Brandon Carlo (upper body). C Ryan Spooner was scratched as he wasn’t 100 per cent.