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Bruins-Senators Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Bruins-Senators Preview
Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators

Thanks to a prolific offense, the Ottawa Senators are rolling.

They'll be trying for a sixth straight win on Saturday when they host the Boston Bruins in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Ottawa (10-1-0) set a season high for goals in Thursday's 6-4 win over Atlanta and has outscored opponents 21-10 during its five-game winning streak.

The Senators, who play eight of their next nine games against Northeast Division foes, are averaging 3.64 goals per game to rank among the league leaders. They have scored at least three goals in all but one of their 11 contests en route to the best record in the Eastern Conference.

A victory Saturday would give Ottawa its longest winning streak since taking six straight from Nov. 17-29, 2005.

Daniel Alfredsson, who leads the team with nine goals and 18 points, had two goals Thursday to reach 300 for his career and added two assists. He has four goals and five assists in his last four games.

Still, the Senators nearly blew a 5-0 third-period lead Thursday.

"For us, it feels like a loss," coach John Paddock said. "It's just a good lesson. You win the game, but it still feels like a loss. You don't let up. You just can never let up because something can go wrong."

Randy Robitaille, signed Oct. 16 as a free agent, chipped in his first two goals for the Senators. However, he left the game with a swollen face after being hit by Thrashers defenseman Garnet Exelby and did not return.

Robitaille was playing on the top line in place of Jason Spezza, who didn't play because of a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day. Spezza, who has a goal and 12 assists this season, agreed to a $49 million, seven-year contract extension Friday.

"This is a good situation for Jason," said Spezza's agent, Rick Curran. "This is where he wants to be and that's always the best deal for a player."

The Senators won four of the final five meetings with Boston (7-4-0) last season after dropping the first three. Dany Heatley had six goals and five assists against the Bruins in 2006-07.

These teams will also meet Sunday in Boston.

The Bruins are coming off Thursday's 4-3 overtime win over Buffalo, the first of nine straight games against Northeast Division opponents. Marco Sturm scored in overtime and added an assist for Boston, which played its first game without Patrice Bergeron.

Bergeron sustained a concussion and broken nose after being checked into the boards from behind by Randy Jones last Saturday against Philadelphia, and the timetable for his return is uncertain.

Coach Claude Julien, whose Bruins held off two comeback attempts by the Sabres on Thursday, said he is trying to get his team to rally around a new motto: 'Be Determined - Play To Win.'

"It occurred to me during our West Coast trip earlier in the season," Julien said. "That was a message to our club to play to win no matter who you play against because we've had trouble protecting leads in the past."

Goalie Tim Thomas made 27 saves but allowed more than two goals for the first time in seven starts this season. He owns a 1.56 goals-against average.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 04 '08 BOS 2 at OTT 1 P. Kessel
Mar 29 '08 OTT 0 at BOS 4 P. Axelsson
Mar 11 '08 BOS 1 at OTT 4 D. Heatley
Feb 26 '08 OTT 0 at BOS 4 S. Thornton
Jan 31 '08 BOS 4 at OTT 1 M. Lucic
Dec 18 '07 OTT 3 at BOS 2 J. Spezza
Nov 04 '07 OTT 2 at BOS 1 - SO D. Alfredsson
Nov 03 '07 BOS 2 at OTT 3 M. Fisher