The Ottawa Senators were looking for a little redemption and Saturday night they were able to find it.
Coming off an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday night the Senators made the most of the rematch as they defeated the Bruins 4-3 at the Canadian Tire Centre.
"Any time you drop a game like that and you get a chance for redemption and you don't take advantage of that things can spiral from there," said Bobby Ryan. "Hopefully this is a building block."
'Any time you drop a game like that and you get a chance for redemption and you don't take advantage of that things can spiral from there.'- Senators forward Bobby Ryan
Ryan was the game's hero as he broke a 3-3 tie late in the third to give Ottawa the 4-3 lead.
"We had it in our mind-set all night long that we were going to come out with two points (Saturday)," said Ryan.
Patrick Wiercioch, Cory Conacher and Zack Smith also scored for the Senators (16-18-7). Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots to earn the victory.
Daniel Paille, Jarome Iginla and David Warsofsky scored for the Bruins (26-11-2). Tuukka Rask allowed three goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Chad Johnson, who allowed one goal on 18 shots.
Saturday's game marked the halfway mark of the season for the Senators, who continue to chase a playoff spot.
Both teams were missing a number of key players, including their captains as Ottawa was without Jason Spezza and the Bruins were without Zdeno Chara. Both sat out with lower body injuries.
The Senators got off to a strong start and managed to play well enough through 60 minutes to hold off the Bruins to the delight of the 20,500 on hand in Ottawa, but it didn't come easily.
Smith was called for a faceoff violation with 1:51 remaining in regulation, leaving Ottawa shorthanded but with a 4-3 lead. Still, the Senators managed to hold off the hard-pressing Bruins and earn the win.
"You never want to put your team in that position, but I had faith in the guys killing and obviously Anderson was playing very well," said Smith. "That was a tough one to take. It's not a call that's called consistently so I think someone has to get on the same page about that one. If they're going to call it they have to call it all the time I think."
Anderson was solid as the Senators held off the Bruins and when asked what it was like to face the onslaught he replied, "exhausting."
"They had a 6-on-4 there and they were moving the puck pretty good and we got a couple of key blocks and that was the difference," said Anderson. "When you're out-manned like that anything can happen."
Anderson admitted the team wasn't feeling very good after Friday's loss and says the fact they were able to rebound with a win shows a lot of character.
"It's all about how you respond," said Anderson. "It's not about what happens to you it's how you respond and I think we came out here and we responded in the right way. Now the key is we have to respond again going forward."
Ryan scored the winner at 15:25 of the third after forcing a turnover at the Ottawa blue-line and breaking in alone, beating Johnson with a high backhand.
Earlier, the Senators caught a break when what would have been Iginla's second of the night was reviewed and ruled to be kicked in, keeping the game tied 3-3.
Iginla admitted he wasn't all that surprised that the goal was called back.
"I didn't really expect it to be a goal," said Iginla. "I knew (the puck) was coming to my foot, but I was hoping it wasn't a kicking motion. At the same time I understand the call, but you're always hoping for the best for sure."
Bruins coach Claude Julien said his team played well and probably deserved a better fate.
"Our guys battled hard," said Julien. "It would have been nice to come out of here with at least a point. I thought we deserved that much with how hard we competed to get ourselves back in the game, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. "
Ottawa opened the scoring at the seven-minute mark of the first as Wiercioch jumped into the play to grab a rebound and beat Rask through the legs.
The Bruins tied the game on Paille's fourth of the season as he sidestepped Erik Karlsson along the sideboards and beat Anderson cleanly.
Conacher made it 2-1 for the Senators when he tipped a Kyle Turris backhand.
The Senators made it 3-1 just 29 seconds into the second on Smith's short-handed goal. It also marked the end of Rask's night.
Anderson made a number of good saves through the second, but had no chance on Iginla's 12th of the season as he was left all alone at the side of the net for an easy tap in.
Warsofsky, with his first in the NHL, tied it 3-3 at the six-minute mark of the third with a shot from the side boards.