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GAME: Boston Bruins (28-14-11-4) at Ottawa Senators (29-15-7-4).

TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Boston Bruins proved they could beat the league's worst team without two of their top players.

Even if the Bruins have Glen Murray and Sergei Samsonov, extending their win streak to seven won't be so easy.

Boston seeks its longest winning streak in almost 11 years when it faces the Ottawa Senators at the Corel Centre.

If the Bruins were worried they would be cooled off by the All-Star break, a matchup against the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday was the perfect way to open the second half.

Captain Joe Thornton had a goal and two assists and Dan McGillis snapped a tie late in the second period with a power-play goal, leading Boston to a 6-3 victory.

"Early on, it was a struggle to get into the game. Before the break, everybody was rolling and going good," said Thornton, who has four goals and seven assists during a four-game point streak. "So to get a win here was a good confidence booster."

The win came despite the Bruins missing two of their most potent offensive weapons. Murray, who has goals in six straight games, sat out with a stomach flu. Samsonov scored Boston's first goal, but didn't play the final two periods after sustaining a rib injury.

The status of both wingers is uncertain for this matchup.

Boston, 14-3-2 since Jan. 1, hasn't won seven in a row since ending the 1992-93 regular season with eight straight wins.

The Bruins have moved within one point of Toronto for the Northeast Division lead while taking over sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Senators, however, can move into a tie for fourth with a win in this contest.

Ottawa returned from the break with a 3-1 victory over visiting St. Louis on Tuesday, ending a three-game winless streak.

Marian Hossa scored two of his team's three first-period goals and Patrick Lalime rebounded from a disappointing performance with 22 saves.

"It was a really important win for us, especially after the All-Star break," Hossa said. "The guys are rested up and ready to go, and tonight we got a pretty good performance from everybody."

Lalime, who allowed only Mike Danton's goal midway through the third period, had surrendered 17 goals during a personal four-game losing streak heading into the break.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored Ottawa's first goal, giving him 11 goals and 11 assists in 18 games since Jan. 1.

The Senators are 10-1-1 in their last 12 home games against the Bruins, with four of those wins coming in overtime.

Ottawa will be without center Radek Bonk for six weeks after he broke his right foot blocking a shot Tuesday.

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