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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, March 23rd (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (39-21-9-6) at Boston Bruins (37-17-14-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The battle for the Northeast Division title heats up tonight when the first-place Boston Bruins welcome the Ottawa Senators to the FleetCenter.

Boston leads the standings with 94 points -- one ahead of Toronto and two up on Ottawa. The Bruins are two points behind Tampa Bay for first place in the Eastern Conference, and one back of Philadelphia.

On Saturday, Michael Nylander scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and added two assists, as the Bruins overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Lightning, 5-4, at the FleetCenter.

Joe Thornton, Brian Rolston, Sergei Gonchar and Travis Green also scored for the Bruins and Andrew Raycroft stopped 35 shots, as Boston collected its fifth win in six games (5-1-0).

Nylander has a goal and seven assists in eight games since coming over via trade from Washington. Gonchar's line reads three scores and two helpers since he was dealt from the Capitals.

The Bruins, 4-1-1 in their last six home games, will host Toronto on Thursday.

Ottawa, meanwhile, has lost three of its last four games (1-2-0-1), and enters the day fifth in the East -- three points ahead of New Jersey and Montreal. On Saturday the Sens dropped a 3-2 decision to visiting Carolina, as Bret Hedican scored the game-winner with a minute left in overtime.

Marian Hossa and Jason Spezza each tallied for the Senators, while Patrick Lalime finished with 26 saves in defeat. Lalime is 0-1-1 against the B's this season, while backup Martin Prusek is 3-0. However, Lalime will get the start tonight because Prusek is suffering from back spasms.

Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his third straight game with a charley horse Saturday, but is expected to return to the lineup this evening.

The Senators open a six-game road trip that has them facing five playoff clubs. They will visit Montreal on Thursday.

Ottawa has won the last three meetings with Boston, and is 6-1-1 in the last eight clashes overall. The Senators are 2-0-1 in their last three trips to Beantown.

03/23 10:41:06 ET

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