Senators host Bruins, look to wrap up No. 7 seed
BRUINS (47-29-4) at SENATORS (41-29-10)
TV: NESN (HD), SNET-East (HD), TVA
Boston 7-2-1; Ottawa 5-4-1
This is the sixth and final meeting. The Bruins are 4-1-0 against the Senators this season, but lost the most recent meeting 1-0 at TD Garden.
It's not set in stone yet, but this is likely the 2 vs. 7 matchup in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Bruins are locked into the No. 2 seed, while the Senators need to earn at least one point in their final two games or have the Capitals lose one of their final two games to clinch the No. 7 seed. The Bruins rested starter Tim Thomas in their previous game, so the team will likely be at full strength for this Northeast contest.
On Tuesday, the Bruins stormed back from a 2-0 deficit against the Penguins before succumbing 5-3 on home ice. The Penguins were trying to secure the No. 4 seed in the East and home-ice advantage against the rival Flyers, while the Bruins were coming off clinching the No. 2 spot on Sunday.
Two power-play goals, including a 5-on-3 goal, in 48 seconds during the second period put the Penguins ahead to stay.
"Yeah, it was like we took back the momentum and played in the offensive zone and we had to work to get the deficit back to 2-2 and did a good job with that," forward Milan Lucic said. "It's just unfortunate that we get two men down and they are able to capitalize. It's just one of those games where we weren't getting many calls. We've just got to … you know, we're not a bunch of complainers. We're just going to play through it."
The Sens had a chance to secure the No. 7 seed Tuesday at home against the Hurricanes, a team long since eliminated from playoff contention that owns one of the worst road records in the League.
But it was the Hurricanes who came away with the 2-1 victory behind Cam Ward's 32 saves.
The Senators appeared to tie the score at 1-1 during the second period, but a goal by Chris Neil
was ruled illegal because it was played into the net off his arm.
"It turned out to be a turning point -- we thought it was a goal," Spezza said. "From what I saw and where I saw it from, it just looked like he was making a natural reaction and was trying to protect his face. If he means to do that, it's pretty impressive. I don't think he's trying to direct it in with his elbow. They reviewed it, they made the call and we have to live with it."
Boston's David Krejci has 3 goals and 5 assists in his last five games. … Spezza has been sizzling down the stretch, posting 4 goals and 4 assists in his last five games.
The Bruins are without defenseman Adam McQuaid (upper body), forward Nathan Horton (concussion) and goalie Tuukka Rask (abdominal/groin). Defenseman Johnny Boychuk left Tuesday's game with a possible knee injury. … The Senators have no new injuries.
This incarnation of the Senators has never faced the Bruins in the postseason. In the only matchup between the teams, the original Senators defeated the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup in 1927.
"There's no doubt you want to minimize ice time, you'd like to keep guys out, and everything else, but you can't keep them all out. It's something that happens. You're going to try and avoid it, and you do the best you can, but there are no hundred-percenters anymore." -- Bruins coach Claude Julien, to CSNNE.com, on trying to avoid injuries over the final two games