Bruins blank stumbling Senators
Amid speculation that head coach John Paddock's job is in jeopardy, the Ottawa Senators suffered their second shutout loss in as many nights to a divisional rival.
Tim Thomas made 22 saves as the Boston Bruins blanked the visiting Senators 4-0 at TD Banknorth Garden on Monday night.
"It was nice for me to come back with a strong game," said Thomas, who was yanked early in his previous outing.
Martin Gerber faced 28 shots for the Senators (36-22-6), still smarting from Monday's 5-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ottawa had prevailed in its four previous visits to Boston, with Gerber posting the win in each of them.
But the Senators have stumbled for more than a month now, going 7-12-2 since Jan. 12.
"We are deep into frustration right now," Paddock said. "We have to move the puck better and we are not winning any battles."
"We, definitely, believe in John," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "Right now, we're not playing well as a team, and that makes everything look bad."
Zdeno Chara scored the final two goals for the surging Bruins (33-23-6), who extended their winning streak to three games and improved to 5-0-1 in their last six.
"It was important for the team to keep the streak rolling," Thomas said.
Chara's power-play goal on a rising shot from the point, put Boston ahead 3-0 less than three minutes into the second period.
He completed the scoring with his 14th goal of the season, a short-handed effort into an empty net with 1:27 remaining in the third period.
Shawn Thornton and rookie David Krejci, with his first NHL goal, tallied at 5:24 and 17:23 of the first period, respectively.
"This is a group of guys that has done a lot to try to grow as a team," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. "We have got a good mix of young and old."
With the win, Boston crept to within six points of front-running Ottawa in the Northeast Division.
With files from the Canadian Press