NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 8th
(All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (26-21-11) at Boston Bruins (36-16-4), 3 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators aim to win the season series against
the rival Boston Bruins on Saturday, as the Atlantic Division foes meet in
Beantown on the final day of NHL action before the league goes on hiatus for
the Winter Olympics.
The Senators are 2-1-0 against the division-leading Bruins in 2013-14 and this
afternoon's clash in Boston marks the final scheduled encounter of the season
between the clubs. Although Ottawa has taken two of the first three matchups
of the campaign, both of those victories were on home ice and the Sens lost
5-0 to the Bruins on Dec. 27 in Boston.
Ottawa, which is 13-10-6 as the road club this season, has lost three of four
and seven of its last nine games at TD Garden.
The Sens will aim for a third straight win when they cap their pre-Olympic
slate today. Ottawa moved to 4-1-1 over its last six games with Thursday's
close regulation win over visiting Buffalo.
Milan Michalek scored twice in the third period, including the game-winner
with 22.1 seconds to play, to send the Senators to a 3-2 triumph over the
The Sens went ahead 2-0 on Michalek's first goal of the game just 10 seconds
into the third, but allowed Buffalo to tie the score after markers from Tyler
Ennis and Drew Stafford. That cleared the way for Michalek's late heroics.
With less than 30 seconds to play, Jason Spezza stickhandled around a defender
in the slot before dishing to the inner half of the left circle for Michalek,
who rifled a wrister high over the short side of Jhonas Enroth for a 3-2 lead.
Ottawa's Erik Condra then went off for tripping at 19:44 to give Buffalo a
late power play, but Craig Anderson came up with a huge save as the horn
sounded to secure the victory.
Erik Karlsson scored Ottawa's other goal, Spezza added two assists and
Anderson stopped 30 shots in the triumph.
"I thought we controlled a lot of the game," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean
said. "We stubbed our toe a little at the halfway point of the third period
and gave up a couple of opportunities that ended up in the net but at the end
of the game our best players stepped up and got us a win."
The Sens, who will play their first game after the Olympic break on Feb. 27 at
home against Detroit, enters Saturday trailing the Red Wings by one point for
the last playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
Boston hopes to bounce back from a loss today as it attempts to head into the
Olympic break on a positive note. The Bruins came up short in their bid for a
third straight win on Thursday, as they lost 3-2 in overtime at St. Louis
despite scoring twice in the third period to force the game past regulation.
St. Louis carried a 2-0 lead into the third period before letting Boston tie
it with goals from David Krejci and Brad Marchand. However, T.J. Oshie was
able to deliver the game-winner for the Blues at 3:29 of overtime when he
prevented Boston's clearing attempt behind the net and jammed the puck past
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Rask turned aside 24-of-27 shots for the first-place Bruins, who fell to 6-1-1
over their last eight outings.
Boston, which holds a seven-point cushion over Tampa Bay for the top spot in
the Atlantic Division, played Thursday without captain Zdeno Chara. The club's
star defenseman is skipping the B's final two tilts before the Olympic break
so he could carry the flag for his native Slovakia at the Opening Ceremony for
the Sochi Olympics.
Although his team couldn't pick up the win, Bruins head coach Claude Julien
was happy with his club's effort in St. Louis.
"I'm proud of the way we played from the first line to the fourth line,"
Julien said. "All of our [defensemen] were really good tonight. I thought our
team played extremely well and probably deserved better. It was an unfortunate
bounce to lose that game in overtime but still a great effort from our team."
Boston is 22-6-2 as the host this season and has won six of its past eight
tilts at TD Garden.
The Bruins' first game after the Olympic break is set for Feb. 26 in Buffalo.
02/08 16:01:57 ET