OTTAWA – After a big trade and a quick flight, veteran defenceman Tomas Kaberle arrived just in time to help his new team Friday.
Dennis Seidenberg scored the winner in the third period and Brad Marchand added two goals of his own as the Boston Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2, hours after acquiring Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nathan Horton had the other goal for Boston (33-19-7), while Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for the win.
Kaberle arrived on a flight from Toronto just 20 minutes prior to warmups and finished a minus-1 in 19 minutes 34 seconds of ice-time. He didn’t have much time to think about the trade away from the only NHL team he’s ever known.
“Sometimes it’s the best way to do it,” Kaberle said. “All the guys were great to me, it was a good atmosphere and it was a big win for us, but it was a day of mixed emotions. I’ve got no regrets. I did my best (in Toronto).”
Bobby Butler and Alex Kovalev scored for the Senators (18-31-9). Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots for Ottawa, which is winless in 10 straight at Scotiabank Place.
After 12 seasons with the Maple Leafs and plenty of speculation Kaberle said he was relieved to have it over with.
“It’s not easy to think about it all the time,” he said. “Now it’s over and I can just focus on hockey games and hopefully we can make the playoffs and have a good run.”
Kaberle was paired with Seidenberg and saw time on the first power-play unit, setting up a couple of nice chances.
Chris Kelly also made his debut for Boston after being dealt out of Ottawa on Tuesday. He finished even with 15:09 of ice-time and was given a standing ovation after a video presentation early in the first.
“It was weird and I didn’t say much to the (Ottawa guys) because it would have made it even weirder,” Kelly said. “I just tried to go out there and play hard and focus on the game.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien was satisfied with Kaberle’s first game and expects him to help the team’s push down the stretch.
“I liked his game, his poise with the puck,” Julien said. “I think our power play will get better with a little bit of chemistry there.”
Kaberle’s new teammates were equally pleased with the addition.
“It’s a great addition to have Tomas,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. “He brings something that we don’t have on our team.
“His patience and vision and ability to move the puck and seeing the plays will be a huge help.”
The Senators also had a new face in their lineup after dealing Brian Elliott to the Colorado Avalanche for fellow netminder Craig Anderson.
With Anderson unable to get to Scotiabank Place in time for the start of the game, the Senators received special permission from the league to allow the injured Pascal Leclaire to dress as the backup.
Anderson joined his new teammates on the bench with four minutes left in the first.
“I was very surprised. I was heading to the rink and I got the call from (GM Greg Sherman),” Anderson said. “For me, it’s a chance to start fresh. I can come here and show the Senators what I can do.”
After a scoreless first, the Senators opened the scoring early in the second as Butler beat Rask with a quick shot at 2:50.
The Bruins tied it on Marchand’s goal at 6:47 as he took a feed from Tyler Seguin and snapped a shot past Lehner.
Both goalies were solid in the third, with Rask making a huge save on Nick Foligno and Lehner stopping Milan Lucic from in close.
The Bruins took the lead at 9:47 as Horton caught Lehner moving and beat him low stickside. The Senators protested to no avail as Lucic looked to have been offside on the play.
“I thought we played well. It was a little bit like the whole season—as soon as a mistake happened, they really bear down on it,” Lehner said. “They had some really nice goals. Sometimes you’ve just got to say it was a good shot.”
Boston went on to score twice more in a span of 32 seconds. Seidenberg beat Lehner on the power play at 15:20 with a shot from the point and Marchand picked up his second, firing past Lehner high glove side from in tight.
Kovalev made it 4-2 at 18:30, connecting on a pretty feed from Filip Kuba on the power play.
Notes: The Senators were without RW Daniel Alfredsson (back, indefinite), C Jesse Winchester (knee, indefinite), D Sergei Gonchar lower body, day-to-day), D Chris Campoli (lower body, day-to-day). D Andre Benoit made his NHL debut. … Boston C Marc Savard (concussion, season), C Rich Peverley (expected to join team Sunday), D Johnny Boychuk (expected to join team Sunday).