BOSTON - Jason Spezza scored a pair of goals to lead the Ottawa Senators to their sixth straight win, 3-2 over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's top two teams.
Luke Richardson's goal broke a 1-1 tie midway into the second and Spezza scored his second goal on a power play in the third. The Senators made it last with an uncharacteristic, close-checking style.
Martin Gerber made 26 saves for Ottawa, which started its winning streak after suffering through a season-high seven-game winless streak.
Chuck Kobasew scored his team-leading 13th goal for the Bruins. He has four of Boston's five goals in its three losses against Ottawa this season. The Bruins lost for just the second time in six games.
Alex Auld, making his sixth consecutive start for Boston, made 24 saves. Despite the loss, the Bruins kept Dany Heatley from putting the puck into the net. He had two goals in each of his past three games before being held to one assist Tuesday.
The Senators, who entered with the league's second-most goals, held Boston to seven fairly easy shots in the third until Milan Lucic scored with just over a minute left.
Ottawa went ahead when Richardson completed a 2-on-1 break with Antoine Vermette by tapping the puck into an empty net from the edge of the crease 10:38 into the second. Vermette broke in down the right wing and attempted to shift around Auld when the puck slid over to Richardson.
Spezza's second goal came 8:19 into the third.
The game was billed locally as the first meaningful regular-season game at the TD Banknorth Garden since before the NHL's lockout three years ago, and even Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who resides in the Buffalo, N.Y. area, was in town for a rare visit, but the Bruins couldn't take advantage of some early defensive breakdowns by Ottawa. Boston had three breakaways in the opening period, with Kobasew scoring the lone time.
The Senators took a 1-0 lead on Spezza's goal 12:25 into the opening period when he one-timed Heatley's pass from behind the net past Auld inside the left post.
Boston tied it 2:15 later when Kobasew beat Gerber with a wrist shot between the pads. Kobasew collected a short backhand pass from Glen Metropolit just outside the Senators' blue line.
Notes: Heatley's streak of three two-goal games was a club record. ... Boston D Andrew Alberts was sidelined due to recurring headaches. ... Ottawa C Mike Fisher was out due to an abdominal strain suffered in the Senators' previous game. ... Boston G Tim Thomas, sidelined the past five games with a strained groin, was activated Saturday and was the backup.