BOSTON - All in all, it was a very Swede night for the Senators at TD Garden Tuesday.
Rookie Robin Lehner made 32 saves for his first NHL shutout. Erik Karlsson scored his 15th goal of the season with the only one of 38 shots Tim Thomas couldn’t stop. That’s because Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson had him completely screened.
On a night newly acquired Ben Bishop was making his Senators debut with a 41-save, 5-1 victory for Binghamton, Lehner merely kicked away 17 third-period chances to beat the defending Cup champions.
The 1-0 victory pulled the Senators into fifth place in the confernce and one point back of the division-leading Bruins, who still have four games in hand.
Against Ottawa, the Bruins were playing for the first time at home since a six-game road trip. Their wives obviously have had them busy doing chores the past few days.
“I think the first two periods were hard for me, too. I had to stand around for a bit,” said Lehner, whose teammates had a 31-15 edge in shots after 40 minutes. “They still had pretty good chances when they got them.
“I think the D helped me a lot, to see the puck and take away rebounds. I think we had a real good team game today.”
Karlsson’s goal came on a first-period power play, and extended his point-scoring streak to eight games. Jason Spezza’s run was lengthened to 10 games as he and Milan Michalek earned the assists.
“Couple of buddies, just hanging out,” Karlsson joked when the Swedish connection of he and Lehner was mentioned to him.
“It was a close one. We probably could have scored a few more and they could have probably scored a couple. We just had two goalies that really played outstanding today.”
Thomas entered the night with an 18-3 record in his previous 21 games vs. the Senators, with the only Ottawa goalie to beat him being Brian Elliott — three times.
Now Lehner can make the same claim.
“They’re still a real good team and still have a little ways to go,” said coach Paul MacLean. “But we’re real pleased we were able to come in here, a tough building, and find a way to win the game. Getting a shutout just makes it better.”
The Senators; penalty killers did an outstanding job surviving all four Boston power plays.
“I thought we didn’t play real great in the third period, but we found a way to stay on the inside and not give up too many second or third opportunities,” MacLean said after his team’s first victory in five games against the Bruins this season. “Penalty killing did a good job of keeping that at bay. For the most part, it was a pretty solid effor from our team, from start to finish.”
The misplay of the night belonged to Erik Condra. The Senators winger was set up by Nick Foligno in the second period with a wide-open net chance that would have stopped his goal-less drought at 24 games. But from just outside the crease and with Thomas barely even in sight, Condra slid the gimme off the far post and out.
Condra’s hand was knocked by a stick as he shot.
“No excuse, but still,” said Condra, one of a group of offensively struggling Senators that includes Zack Smith, Kyle Turris and Colin Greening. “Little snakebit.
“I’m not mad because I’m having the chances. We’re getting opportuniites to score. We were joking around after the game, we’ll score when we need to. The other guys are taking over right. We seem to be playing all right without us scoring. We’ll save them for when we need them.”