Teams at opposite ends of the NHL’s Atlantic Division standings will meet Tuesday night when the Boston Bruins visit the Ottawa Senators.
The Bruins are at the top of the Atlantic with 56 points, and they own an NHL-best plus-56 goal differential (130-74). Boston has won four in a row and is 7-1-2 in its last 10 games.
Ottawa is at the bottom of the eight-team division with 31 points and enters Tuesday’s matchup having lost its last three games. The Senators are 6-3-2 in their last 11 outings.
Ottawa last played Thursday, losing 3-2 in overtime at home to the Washington Capitals. The Senators were scheduled to skate against Detroit on Friday, also on home ice, but that game was postponed because of severe weather in Ontario and rescheduled for Feb. 27.
The Capitals’ Marcus Johansson scored the game-winning goal 2:05 into overtime on Friday. He used his speed to skate past Ottawa’s Drake Batherson and beat goaltender Cam Talbot with a shot from the inner edge of the right faceoff circle. Talbot stopped 37 shots.
“I just don’t like the way it (ended),” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “You’ve got to check harder in overtime; you can’t give a breakaway. Talbot did everything to hold us in there.”
The Senators finished the game with 10 forwards and five defensemen after losing left wing Tyler Motte and center Rourke Chartier to upper-body injuries in the first period. Ottawa also lost defenseman Jake Sanderson after he was hit by a puck early in the third. All three players are listed as day to day.
“It’s tough to beat those guys with a full bench, and our guys battled back with three quarters of one, so it’s a gutsy point,” Talbot said. “Obviously when you leave a point on the table, it doesn’t feel great.”
“That was hard-fought,” Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk added. “Dealt with a lot of adversity and thought we handled it well, but we wish we could have gotten that second point. It’s just how it is and you’ve got to move on from it, but yeah, it’s a gutsy effort by a lot of guys with all those injuries.”
Boston stretched its winning streak to four games by picking up a 4-3 road win against New Jersey on Friday. The Bruins trailed 1-0 after one period, but scored four goals in the second — including three in the period’s first 10 minutes.
David Pastrnak scored twice for Boston, which received 37 saves from Linus Ullmark, who has a league-best 19 wins. Ullmark has a 1.94 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in 23 games.
“He’s been outstanding,” Pastrnak said. “Obviously, he’s standing on his head, making some big saves. We’re all very happy for him.”
Tkachuk leads Ottawa with 37 points (13 goals). He has four goals and eight assists in his last 11 games. Alex DeBrincat is next with 32 points (10 goals).
Pastrnak is Boston’s leader in goals (24) and assists (23). Taylor Hall has five goals and six assists in his last 10 games.
“Just playing and having a lot of fun, and the puck is going in,” Pastrnak said. “I’ve been shooting a lot. I think that’s big. So, just happy that it’s going in.”
This is the second of four meetings between the teams during the regular season. Ottawa won the first matchup, 7-5 on Oct. 18.
–Field Level Media