When they did, the Bruins took over late in posting yet another win in their torrid start this season.
David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists as the Bruins beat Ottawa 5-2 Saturday night, in a game in which Sabourin was taken to a hospital for evaluation after being taken off on a stretcher.
Sabourin was taken from the ice with his head immobilized following a collision with David Backes in which the players’ helmets hit at nearly full speed early in the first period. Sabourin gave the crowd a "thumbs up" as he was taken from the arena.
"You’ve got to try to stay focused, but it’s obviously not easy," Boston centre Patrice Bergeron said. "In that moment, your thoughts and prayers are with Scott. You hope he’s got a speedy recovery and our side the same thing with Backs."
Backes went to the dressing after Sabourin was taken from the ice and didn’t return. The Bruins announced that Backes had an upper-body injury. He was visibly upset, fighting back tears, as medical personnel attended to Sabourin.
Brad Marchand, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk and Bergeron also scored for Boston (10-1-2), which has lost just once in regulation. The Bruins have won five straight.
Tuukka Rask made 30 saves for the Bruins, including eight when Boston was short-handed for six straight minutes.
Anthony Duclair and Connor Brown scored for Ottawa. The Senators (3-8-1) have the NHL’s worst record with just seven points. Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots.
After colliding with Backes, Sabourin fell to the ice and appeared to be unconscious. There was a large blood spot on the ice under his face.
"There’s hatred and all that, but at the end of the day we’re all brothers in this game," Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki said. "That could have just as easily been one of us. You just can’t help but think about Sabby and his parents and his finacee watching that. It hits you."
The Senators sent an update on their Twitter saying Sabourin was conscious and speaking with the attending doctors while leaving the arena.
"You don’t want to see anyone, anyone on either team lying motionless like that on the ice," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "Our players were emotional and so were their guys."
Smith said they’d know more about the injury Sunday and he was being kept at the hospital overnight.
Heinen scored 5:43 into the third period, hustling in for a loose puck, to make it 3-2.
While on a power play, Pastrnak skated with the puck and looked as if he was going around the net before sending a pass in front to Marchand, who scored 1:07 later.
"Those are nice," Pastrnak said. "I like those. I’m probably more a goal-scorer than a playmaker. Every time I can set up one of my teammates, I’ll do that."
He has 13 goals and 14 assists this season.
Pastrnak’s power-play goal made it 1-0 just 1:17 into the opening period when he outskated defenceman Ron Hainsey to the puck after Boston defenceman Torey Krug sent a long pass that caromed off the backboards. Pastrnak shifted and tucked the puck behind Anderson.
Duclair tied it on a one-timer from the right circle 12:04 into the period.
Pastrnak set up Bergeron’s goal, making a soft pass across the crease, to make it 2-1 at 1:51 of the second, but the Senators tied it on Brown’s goal that caromed in off the heel of Rask’s stick at 3:04.
Marchand was given two minutes for hooking and a double-minor for spearing at the same time early into the second and Rask was splendid.
NOTES: It was Pastrnak’s first game since being named the NHL’s Player of the Month for October when he put up 12 goals and 12 assists. Linesman Steve Miller was helped off the ice late in the game. About 10 minutes after it was over, he was being helped down a hallway by two EMTs, favouring his right leg, while they brought him to the officials’ room. . The Bruins recalled F Peter Cehlarik from their AHL affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island, before the game. … Senators F Bobby Ryan was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Senators: At the New York Rangers Monday.
Bruins: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.