GAME: Boston Bruins (29-35-15) at Ottawa Senators (50-20-8).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.
The Ottawa Senators picked the worst time for their longest losing streak of the season.
Ottawa - tied with Carolina atop the Eastern Conference - will try to snap a four-game skid when they welcome the Boston Bruins in the season-series finale.
The Senators and Hurricanes each have 108 points, but Ottawa may have the easier road to the top seed in the East. After this contest, the Senators are home against Florida before finishing the season on the road at Toronto and versus the New York Rangers.
Starting Tuesday, the Hurricanes welcome New Jersey, have a home-and-home series with defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay before wrapping up the season at home against Buffalo. All three opponents are among the top eight teams in the East.
Two of Ottawa's losses during its skid have come to Buffalo, while the others have been to Montreal, including a 3-2 setback Monday against the Canadiens.
Rookie Andrej Mezaros and Dany Heatley scored first-period goals to give Ottawa a 2-1 lead. Rookie goaltender Ray Emery, who has played well at times while six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek recovers from a groin injury, surrendered a goal to Sheldon Souray before Richard Zednik netted the game-winner midway through the third.
"We were flying out there, it was a playoff type game and we took it to them," Emery said. "I've said it too often, but I've got to make some saves."
Ottawa again played without its top three defensemen - Zdeno Chara (hand), Wade Redden (personal leave) and Chris Phillips (knee).
The Senators got some good news on Monday. Forward Martin Havlat has been cleared to play and should be in uniform Saturday against the Maple Leafs. He has been out since undergoing surgery Dec. 10 to repair a separated shoulder.
The Bruins are out of the playoff mix for the first time in four seasons, but may be content to play spoiler. The Bruins have won four in a row over the Senators, including two shutouts.
Boston lost for the sixth time in seven games overall after falling to Washington 2-1 in overtime on Monday.
Mark Stuart scored his first career goal for the Bruins, who lost for the first time in four games against the Capitals this season.
"Once again I thought we played hard," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We created a lot of opportunities on our power play. Once again, it's tough when you only score one goal."
STANDINGS: Bruins - 73 points, 5th place, 35 PB, Northeast Division. Senators - 108 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm, 28 goals; Bergeron and Brad Boyes, 41 assists; Bergeron, 69 points; Hal Gill, 120 PIM. Senators - Heatley, 48 goals and 97 points; Jason Spezza, 68 assists; Chris Neil, 182 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins - Power play: 15.2 percent (62 for 408), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (386 for 463), 12th. Senators - Power play: 21.2 percent (98 for 462), 2nd. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (390 for 458), 4th.
GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Tim Thomas (12-12-8, 1 SO, 2.85 GAA); Andrew Raycroft (8-19-2, 0, 3.71). Senators - Emery (22-10-4, 3, 2.59); Mike Morrison (10-4-2, 0, 2.82).
SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 4-3.
LAST MEETING: March 16; Bruins, 3-2 (SO). At Boston, Bergeron scored the winning goal in the shootout and Thomas stopped three shots to help the Bruins snap a six-game losing streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 13-21-5 on the road; Senators - 28-9-2 at home.