Bruins prolong Senators' road woes
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk may want to reconsider his stance on leaving his organization intact.
Melnyk couldn't have been pleased after watching his team drop its seventh straight contest, which concluded an eight-game road trip in Boston.
Centre Marc Savard scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Bruins to a 6-4 win over Ottawa on Thursday night.
Melnyk had issued a statement Wednesday denying reports he would replace coach Craig Hartsburg and general manager Bryan Murray with Canadian junior bench boss Pat Quinn and Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson.
This vote of confidence did little to spur on the Senators (13-20-6), who went 1-6-1 on their trip away from Scotiabank Place.
"You try to trust your best guys," said the Senators' frustrated coach, Craig Hartsburg. "It's those guys that cost us the game."
Hartsburg was speaking about the team's top line of captain Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, who went a combined minus-10 against the Bruins.
Aaron Ward, Chuck Kobasew, David Krejci, Michael Ryder and P.J. Axelsson also scored for Boston (30-7-4), which snapped a two-game losing streak after reeling off 10 straight wins. Goaltender Manny Fernandez turned aside 26 Senators shots at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Ottawa replied with tallies from Chris Phillips, Chris Neil, Brendan Bell and Antoine Vermette, while netminder Martin Gerber allowed five goals on only 21 shots.
"They played hard and desperate and we sat back a bit," said Kobasew. "It was big to get a win and we had to find a way to get it done."
The Senators dropped to 13th place in the Eastern Conference with 32 points, and at 4-14-2, have the worst road record in the NHL.
Krejci broke 3-3 tie at 10:13 of the third period on a great individual effort. He stole the puck from Alfredsson and slipped his second attempt by Gerber.
Savard's 14th goal of the season gave the Bruins a two-goal advantage more than four minutes later, beating Gerber with a quick shot from the slot.
Axelsson added an empty-net goal in the final minute before Vermette finished the scoring for Ottawa.
"This was really important and to get over the hump was the toughest thing," Fernandez said. "If it's going to be like this for a while, we have to work twice as hard at limiting our mistakes."
Sens came close
Down 3-1 in the second, the Senators made a game of it with two goals in a 4:24 span.
The Senators closed the gap midway through the period following a turnover by Bruins defenceman Dennis Wideman. A trailing Kelly snapped the lose puck over Fernandez, who had made the initial breakaway save on Vermette.
Ottawa tied the contest 3-3 at 14:32 of the second when Bell fired a pass from Dean McAmmond by Fernandez. But the Senators couldn't continue their momentum in the final 20 minutes.
"We had an unbelievable start and that's what we wanted," said Bruins forward Blake Wheeler.
The first period was highlighted by a tussle between Boston winger Shawn Thornton and Neil. Both landed several heavy blows, to the delight of the Boston crowd, but neither player held a clear edge.
The Senators played without winger Jarkko Ruutu, who is serving a two-game suspension for allegedly biting the glove off the hand of Buffalo Sabres forward Andrew Peters on Tuesday night. Ruutu will also miss Saturday's contest against the New York Rangers (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).
With files from the Associated Press