Season Series: This is the third of six meetings between these clubs. The Bruins have scored a pair of 4-3 shootout wins, one at home and one on the road. Patrice Bergeron and Michael Ryder have scored the game-deciding shootout goals, David Krejci has scored goals in both games, and goalie Tim Thomas has recorded two victories for Boston. Milan Michalek of Ottawa leads all scorers with 3 goals in the series, and Daniel Alfredsson has scored in both games. Goalie Brian Elliott has taken both losses.
Big Story: This Northeast Division rivals are separated by one point and both are chasing Buffalo in the standings. They have already played two close games, both won by Boston, and the Senators will play their fourth game without All-Star center Jason Spezza, who was lost to a knee injury a week ago in a loss at Toronto.
Bruins: Boston is playing the final contest in a three-game road trip that began with a 5-4 shootout loss at Chicago and a 2-0 loss at Toronto. The Bruins have lost four straight. On Saturday, they were blanked by Toronto rookie goaltender Jonas Gustavsson while missing three regulars on defense.
“You don’t want to take away credit from a guy who got a shutout,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “But I don’t think we tested him as much as we should have. That’s our fault.’’
Missing from the lineup were Dennis Wideman (undisclosed injury), Mark Stuart (broken sternum) and Derek Morris (undisclosed injury). In their place, Adam McQuaid played his first NHL game, and Andy Wozniewski dressed for only the second time this season.
Senators: Ottawa is wrapping up a two-game homestand that began with a 4-1 win against Minnesota on Saturday.
Rookie goaltender Mike Brodeur made 22 saves to win his NHL debut. Brodeur, a distant relative of New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, carried a shutout into the third period.
"It's a dream come true to get that win," Brodeur said. "You don't want to come in and lose your first night. You want to perform to the best of your ability and I think I did that."
Rookie defenseman Erik Karlsson, Ottawa's top pick in the 2008 draft, scored his first career goal after 21 games. Anton Volchenkov, Milan Michalek and Jarkko Ruutu also scored for Ottawa.
"It feels really good," Karlsson said. "I had two really good chances last game that I think I should have scored on and to get a goal like that is always good. I've just got to keep shooting the puck and hope that more goals will go in."
Who's Hot: For the Bruins, David Krejci has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last five games, Patrice Bergeron has 2 goals and 11 assists in his last 13 games, and Mark Recchi has 3 goals and 6 assists in his last nine games. For the Senators, Alexei Kovalev has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last five games, Peter Regin had 3 assists in his last three games, Jarkko Ruutu has 2 goals in his last two games, and Mike Fisher has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last seven games.
Injury Report: For the Bruins, Milan Lucic (ankle) and Mark Stuart (sternum) are on injured reserve, and Derek Morris (undisclosed) and Dennis Wideman (undisclosed) are day-to-day. For the Senators, Chris Neil (knee), Shean Donovan (knee), Jason Spezza (knee), Pascal Leclaire (fractured cheekbone) and Nick Foligno (knee) are on injured reserve.
Stat Pack: Boston’s Mark Recchi is playing his 1,525th NHL game tonight, moving him past Brendan Shanahan for 10th place on the NHL's all-time appearances list. … Since returning from a broken left foot on Nov. 23, Bruins No. 1 center Marc Savard has only 4-3-7 in 12 games. Three of the goals came in one game and he is now scoreless in his last five contests. … Senators forwards Mike Fisher and Jonathan Cheechoo each recorded their 300th career point last Saturday against Minnesota.
Puck Drop: “When you look at the lack of goal scoring, people always look at the personnel and that’s a large part of it. But short of Phil (Kessel), we have largely the same personnel. If you want to subtract Phil’s goals, you can certainly do that, but I think it’s across the board. I think it’s in the players’ minds and I know they’ve been working on it and they’ll get better at it.” -- Boston GM Peter Chiarelli to the Boston Herald