BOSTON (AP) _ This time, the Boston Bruins didn't need to recover from a poor start.
Glen Murray scored his 30th goal of the season and added an assist, and Andrew Raycroft stopped 28 shots to lead the Bruins over the Ottawa Senators 4-2 Tuesday night.
The Bruins, in a three-way race with Ottawa and Toronto for first place in the Northeast Division, moved three points ahead of the Maple Leafs and four ahead of the Senators. They remained two behind Tampa Bay, which beat the Maple Leafs 7-2, for the Eastern Conference's best record.
Boston, 7-1-1 in its last nine games, has won the first two games of a four-game homestand. The Bruins, who host Toronto on Thursday and Montreal on Saturday, beat Tampa Bay 5-4 on Saturday after falling behind 3-0.
``I thought that was one of the best 60 minutes of hockey we've had all year long,'' Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. ``Our guys were ready from the drop of the puck. We played a pretty good hockey club and our guys were ready.''
Travis Green gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 4:45 of the first period when he put in a rebound of a shot by Dan McGillis. It was Green's second goal in as many games and his fifth in his last 12.
The Bruins extended their lead to 2-0 when Sergei Samsonov, who played in his third straight game after missing 11 with bruised ribs, wristed a shot into the goal at 7:03 of the second period. At the end of a two-on-one break, Murray fed a pass in front of the net to Samsonov for his 27th assist of the season.
The Bruins showed they were focused on a strong beginning after what happened against the Lightning on Saturday.
``We wanted to come out with a good start,'' Raycroft said. ``But a good start doesn't mean you get two points. We wanted to carry it right through.''
Ottawa cut the lead to 2-1 at 3:08 of the third period when Martin Havlat scored his 29th goal of the season on a rebound of Daniel Alfredsson's shot.
Boston answered at 6:53 of the period when Murray put the puck into an empty net after Senators goalie Patrick Lalime came out and hit the Boston wing with an attempted clearing pass. Murray, charging in from the right wing, knocked the puck down and fired it into the net.
``I made a couple of mistakes. That was the difference,'' Lalime said. ``We can play better than we did tonight.''
The Senators are 4-6-0-1 in their last 11 games.
``We're in the desperate part of our season,'' Ottawa defenseman Todd Simpson said. ``We have to put more energy in our game.''
The Bruins are unbeaten in regulation when leading after two periods, 22-0-4-3.
``If we win all the games this week we can say we played great,'' Murray said.
Jason Spezza scored for the Senators at 7:17 to make it 3-2. It was Spezza's 21st goal and came after he took a pass from near the Boston bench from Havlat.
Nick Boynton built the Bruins lead to 4-2 at 13:01 of the third with his fifth goal on a shot from the left face off circle.