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game recap

Bruins 5, Senators 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Bruins 5, Senators 3
Ottawa Senators 3, Boston Bruins 5

BOSTON - Aaron Ward scored his first NHL short-handed goal and the Boston Bruins connected on two quick breakaways to open a three-goal lead before holding on and beating the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Thursday night.

Phil Kessel scored twice, one of them an empty-netter with 56 seconds left, and Tim Thomas stopped 25 shots to help the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins win for just the fifth time in 16 games. Boston, which had led by as many as 14 points in the conference, maintained a six-point lead over the second-place New Jersey Devils, who beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2.

Jason Spezza scored twice and Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson each assisted on both goals for the Senators.

Alex Auld stopped 17 shots for Ottawa, which had won four consecutive games.

Boston has beaten Ottawa six straight times.

There was a flurry of penalties in the opening minutes, and it set the tone for the opening goal two minutes later.

Ward was called for hooking 70 seconds into the game, a penalty that was matched when Nick Foligno was sent off for tripping on the ensuing faceoff, just three seconds later. As Ward's penalty expired, Zdeno Chara blocked Heatley's shot and fed Patrice Bergeron, who found Ward to set up a point-blank, breakaway slap shot that made it 1-0.

It was the first short-handed goal for Ward in 750 NHL games.

Boston also took advantage of the man coming out of the box on its second goal, when P.J. Axelsson came off a roughing penalty and worked a perfect give-and-go with David Krejci to make it 2-0 just 6:52 into the game. Midway through the first period, Chuck Kobasew took a backdoor pass in front of the net and gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead.

Spezza cut the deficit to 3-1 just two minutes later when he slammed home the rebound after Heatley tried a wraparound stuff shot.

After a scoreless second period, Kessel roofed a slap shot 4:31 into the third period to extend Boston's lead to 4-1, but two minutes later Christoph Schubert made it 4-2 on an easy tip-in from Ryan Shannon. Spezza's second of the game cut the Senators' deficit to a single goal.

Notes: The Bruins are 15-3-2 against the Northeast Division ... Alfredsson extended his scoring streak to five games ... The Senators next head to Pittsburgh, where they'll face the Penguins on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m., CBC, Team 1200) ... Shannon played in his 100th career NHL game.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:17
BOS
SHG - Aaron Ward (3) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (25), Zdeno Chara (25)
1 - 0 BOS
06:52
BOS
P.J. Axelsson (6) ASST: David Krejci (41)
2 - 0 BOS
10:24
BOS
PPG - Chuck Kobasew (17) ASST: Michael Ryder (20), Marc Savard (53)
3 - 0 BOS
12:48
OTT
Jason Spezza (24) ASST: Dany Heatley (30), Daniel Alfredsson (42)
3 - 1 BOS
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
04:31
BOS
Phil Kessel (28) ASST: Marc Savard (54), Mark Stuart (8)
4 - 1 BOS
06:52
OTT
Christoph Schubert (2) ASST: Ryan Shannon (6), Dany Heatley (31)
4 - 2 BOS
09:05
OTT
Jason Spezza (25) ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (43)
4 - 3 BOS
19:04
BOS
EN - Phil Kessel (29) ASST: P.J. Axelsson (21)
5 - 3 BOS
penalty summary
1st Period
01:10
BOS
Aaron Ward  Hooking against  Chris Kelly
01:13
OTT
Nick Foligno  Tripping against  Zdeno Chara
01:41
BOS
Dennis Wideman  Hooking against  Jason Spezza
04:41
BOS
P.J. Axelsson  Roughing against  Jarkko Ruutu
06:56
BOS
Milan Lucic  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Neil
06:56
OTT
Chris Neil  Fighting (maj) against  Milan Lucic
09:17
OTT
Ryan Shannon  Hooking against  Phil Kessel
18:56
BOS
Blake Wheeler  Holding against  Anton Volchenkov
19:58
OTT
Jason Spezza  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
10:34
OTT
Jarkko Ruutu  Hooking against  Blake Wheeler
3rd Period
01:45
BOS
Michael Ryder  Slashing against  Jason Spezza
goalie stats
Alex Auld
Alex Auld
12-17-6
SA: 21TOI: 59:52
Saves: 17EV: 15 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .810SH: 0 - 1
Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas
29-10-6
SA: 28TOI: 59:54
Saves: 25EV: 18 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .893SH: 0 - 0