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Bruins-Senators Preview @NHL
Bruins-Senators Preview

GAME: Boston Bruins (8-11-5) at Ottawa Senators (17-3-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

Two teams heading in opposite directions will meet when the Ottawa Senators host the Boston Bruins.

The Senators have won nine of their last 10 games, and lead the NHL with 96 goals. The Bruins have lost seven of their last eight games and have allowed 85 goals, the most in the Northeast Division.

Ottawa got goals from six players in a 6-2 win Saturday over the New York Islanders. It marked the fourth time in which the Senators have scored at least six goals in a game.

"Our players took it as an opportunity to play a solid two-way game," coach Bryan Murray said. "That was as solid as we've played as a group all season."

Dany Heatley's first-period power-play goal stretched his point streak to 20 games. He has 16 goals to go with 18 assists and is the only NHL player to register a point in every one of his team's games this season.

Heatley's power-play goal was one of three man-advantage goals against the Islanders. Ottawa has scored three power-play goals in a game four times this season.

Ottawa's defense has been just as impressive as its offense this season. The Senators have given up a league-low 43 goals, allowing two or fewer goals 13 times this season.

"Our defense has been overshadowed because we have such a great offense," captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek leads the league in shutouts (three) and goals-against average (1.91).

The Senators goaltender is 8-3 since the start of the 1998-99 season against the Bruins, with a 1.54 GAA and .946 save percentage.

Ottawa has won five of its last six games against Boston, as Alfredsson and Jason Spezza each have five-game scoring streaks against the Bruins.

Alfredsson has recorded seven assists, while Spezza has two goals and five assists in that span.

The Bruins played with leading goal-scorer Glen Murray in a 5-3 loss Friday to the Philadelphia Flyers. Murray is day-to-day with a strained groin.

"We're playing well, but we've got to be better," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "That's the bottom line. We've got to find a way."

Boston has been outscored 29-15 in its last seven losses.

One bright spot for Boston has been Joe Thornton, who has two goals and two assists during a four-game points streak.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 25): Bruins - 21 points, 5th place, 13 PB, Northeast Division. Senators - 34 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Murray, 12 goals; Thornton, 22 assists and 31 points; Jiri Slegr, 38 PIM. Senators - Alfredsson, 18 goals and 36 points; Spezza, 27 assists; Brian McGrattan, 58 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 25): Bruins - Power play: 19.8 percent (28 for 141), 9th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (130 for 155), 9th. Senators - Power play: 20.9 percent (27 for 129), 7th. Penalty killing: 85.5 percent (112 for 131), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (4-9-2, 0 SO, 3.42 GAA); Hannu Toivonen (4-2-3, 0, 3.22). Senators - Hasek (12-3-0, 3, 1.91); Ray Emery (5-0-0, 0, 2.78).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 10; Senators, 5-2. At Boston, Heatley scored two goals and Hasek made 37 saves in the win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 4-5-4 on the road; Senators - 9-2-0 at home.

Associated Press
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