NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, March 21st
(All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (19-6-3) at Ottawa Senators (16-8-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators have been able to hang around in the
playoff hunt despite a number of injuries this season to some of their top
The Sens hope that their luck doesn't run out on Thursday evening when they
try to snap a 10-game series home losing streak to the Boston Bruins.
Ottawa is holding firm at fifth place in the Eastern Conference this season
with 38 points despite currently being without their No. 1 goaltender in Craig
Anderson, top blueliner Erik Karlsson and scoring threats Jason Spezza and
Anderson has not played since suffering a sprained right ankle on Feb. 21
versus the New York Rangers and has no return date set, while Karlsson is lost
for the season due to left Achilles surgery. Spezza hasn't played since late
January because of back surgery, but is hopeful to return this season.
Michalek, meanwhile, just underwent right knee surgery and is out
indefinitely, having missed 15 of Ottawa's past 17 games.
Still, the Sens begin a five-game homestand on Thursday having won three
straight and with points in six in a row (4-0-2). They are 9-2-4 in their past
15 games, including a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
Ottawa trailed by two goals heading into the third period, but notched four
goals in the final frame. Sergei Gonchar had the game-tying tally with one
minute to play and Guillaume Latendresse scored into an empty net.
"We definitely didn't have our best first two periods, but we've got great
leadership in here," said goaltender Ben Bishop, who made 26 saves. "There's
not one guy in here who is going to quit."
Matt Kassian, Jakob Silfverberg and Zack Smith all added goals, Gonchar had
two assists and Daniel Alfredsson picked up the 1,100th point of his career
with an assist on Latendresse's goal.
"I didn't know until I got into the room. It feels good -- coming in a win
like this makes it nicer," Alfredsson said.
Of course, it wouldn't be the Senators if they didn't suffer an injury and
defenseman Marc Methot left in the second period with a lower body issue.
The Sens need all the help they can get tonight as they haven't won at home
versus the Bruins since April 7, 2009. Boston has taken 11 of the last 12
encounters overall as well, including the first two of five meetings this
The Bruins are three points ahead of the Senators for fourth in the East and
trail the Northeast Division-leading Montreal Canadiens by two points. Boston
is an excellent 19-6-3 on the campaign, but three of those regulation losses
have come in the last five games.
The Bruins dropped their second in a row on Tuesday, falling 3-1 to the
Brad Marchand scored a second-period tally in his 200th NHL game, but the Jets
scored three times in the third. Tuukka Rask made 22 saves in defeat.
"It's becoming a habit. It's not acceptable," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton
said. "We should be (ticked) off in here."
Center David Krejci did not play after suffering a knee injury in Sunday's
loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and is doubtful for this game, while
defenseman Adam McQuaid suffered an upper body injury against the Jets.
03/21 10:53:49 ET