BOSTON – It almost looked like a replay. Noel Acciari posted up in the slot, tipping a point shot past Craig Anderson to get the Bruins on the board in the second period.
In Game 3, the bulky winger, playing in his first career postseason game, set in motion the Black & Gold’s comeback with a tip of a John-Michael Liles wrister. He followed nearly the exact same script in Game 4, this time deflecting a Charlie McAvoy shot from the right point past Craig Anderson for what appeared to be a 1-0 lead.
The difference on Wednesday night was the sliver of white in between Acciari’s skate and the Senators blue line.
Ottawa believed the play was offsides and asked for the play to be reviewed. After further examination by the officials, it was determined that nearly some 20 seconds prior to the goal, Acciari entered the zone ahead of the puck, nullifying his second tally of the series and leaving the Bruins still in search of their first goal.
Boston never found it. Despite a number of close calls, the Bruins failed to solve Anderson and dropped a 1-0 decision to the Senators in Game 4. They now trail the series, 3-1.
“I mean I was excited, it was an exciting time of the game. I just scored the first one of the game and got the team going,” said Acciari. “I was definitely excited, but things happen and I was offsides, so nothing I could do.”
In a series that has seen all four games decided by one goal, having one wiped off the board was a crushing blow.
“The offsides challenge – that really has no bearing on the play – calls that back,” said David Backes. “I think that for some reason made us pause rather than realize that we broke the mold there and had the recipe for success and to keep doing that.
“I think it’s another one-goal game, another tight-checking game and they’re able to push through and get that one play and we don’t.”