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Bruins host Senators, look to clinch playoff berth

Boston can return to postseason with win and some help

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondents

SENATORS (37-35-9) at BRUINS (42-30-9)

TV: 12:30 p.m. ET; NESNplus, RDS, SN1, NHL.TV

Season series: The Ottawa Senators have won two of three meetings this season. Mark Stone scored an overtime goal in a 2-1 win on Jan. 9 and scored twice in a 3-1 win on Dec. 27. Jimmy Hayes had a hat trick, and Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey each scored twice in a 7-3 Boston Bruins win on Dec. 29.

Senators team scope: One year ago, the Senators made a historic run that landed them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and kept the Bruins out. This season, the Senators visit the Bruins having already been mathematically eliminated and looking to play spoiler. They have lost their past two games and have won two of their past seven (2-4-1). Goaltender Andrew Hammond will start, coach Dave Cameron said Friday. Forward Curtis Lazar (undisclosed) is questionable. If Lazar can't play, expect Scott Gomez to step into the lineup. Defenseman Marc Methot and forward Mark Stone are out with injuries.

Bruins team scope: The Bruins can clinch a playoff berth with some help Saturday. If the Bruins win and the Philadelphia Flyers lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston is in. The Bruins also can clinch with one point and if the Detroit Red Wings lose in regulation to the New York Rangers. The Bruins are trying to get back into the playoffs after missing them last season for the first time in eight years. "It's the last game tomorrow of the season," center David Krejci said. "And we have to put everything on the line. Just go out there, don't think, don't hesitate. You just go for your first instinct and that's what we did [Thursday, in a 5-2 win against the Red Wings]. So we're going to have to play the same way tomorrow." The Bruins held an optional practice and are unlikely to make any lineup changes.

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