BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins were left to sit and watch to see if they would make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston lost to the Ottawa Senators 6-1 at TD Garden on Saturday, a result that put the Detroit Red Wings into the playoffs and left the Bruins needing the Philadelphia Flyers to get only one point in their final two games. But the Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 to earn the second Eastern Conference wild card and knock the Bruins from contention.
The Bruins (42-31-9), who played without No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask because of illness, missed the playoffs last season for the first time in eight years and went 3-8-1 in its last 12 games this season.
Video: OTT@BOS: Neil stuffs in puck to tie the game
The Bruins put themselves in a position to clinch Saturday with a win and a Detroit loss by defeating the Red Wings 5-2 on Thursday. Detroit lost to the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday but made the playoffs when Boston lost.
"We all have to accept responsibility here. Our goal was certainly to duplicate our effort that we had against Detroit," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And when you look at what happened this afternoon, it's even more disappointing because we could have controlled our own fate again and we weren't able to do that. And at times this year we weren't able to do that. Some of those big games, it's about the mistakes we kind of made, puck management at times was an issue for us."
Boston goalie Jonas Gustavsson made his first start in eight games and made 30 saves.
"It shouldn't have been an issue," said Julien, who didn't know until hours before game time Rask was sick. "I think [Rask] is a great goaltender, but our team could have easily played much better and allowed [Gustavsson] to be the winning goalie today."
Video: OTT@BOS: Hoffman feeds Zibanejad on doorstep
Gustavsson kept the Bruins within 1-0 in the first period despite Ottawa outshooting Boston 17-10. Ottawa scored four goals during an 8:18 stretch of the second period.
Zack Smith scored twice to give him 25 goals, and Chris Neil, Matt Puempel, Mike Zibanejad and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators (38-35-9).
Neil tied it 1-1 at 1:42 of the second period by stuffing in a rebound. Ryan Dzingel circled the net to set up a Nick Paul shot from the right side of the slot; Gustavsson made the save but Neil followed up.
Smith's tip of an Erik Karlsson slap pass at 5:54 put the Senators ahead 2-1.
Video: OTT@BOS: Puempel slips puck five-hole past Gustavsson
Puempel kept the Senators' roll going with some net drive to redirect a Phil Varone pass past Gustavsson at 8:39. Zibanejad extended the lead to 4-0 at 10:00 with a redirection of a shot by Hoffman, who intercepted Adam McQuaid's pass up the up wall.
Julien called timeout but did not speak to his team during the break.
Ottawa goaltender Andrew Hammond made 39 saves, and 12 Senators had at least one point. Ottawa won its last two games but did not qualify for the playoffs.
"You don't want to be in the position that we're in and have today be the last game of the season," Hammond said. "But I think the way that we've played at least the last two games here, we showed we had a sense of pride and wanted to finish it the right way, and today we just had a really good effort."
Video: OTT@BOS: Pastrnak dekes in front, roofs pretty goal
The Bruins led 1-0 because for the second straight game David Pastrnak opened the scoring. Pastrnak took a Brad Marchand aerial pass in stride, went to the net and beat Hammond at 5:04. Ottawa coach Dave Cameron challenged if Pastrnak was offside, but the goal was upheld because the video was deemed inconclusive.
"We knew we were fortunate to have a 1-0 lead," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. "[Gustavsson] came in and did a heck of a job and pretty much kept us in there in the first period. We talked about it and said all the right things. We just didn't come out here and compete the way that we should've. There was no desperation for a team that was in our situation."
Trailing 4-1 with 9:26 left in the third period, the Bruins earned a power play and Julien pulled Gustavsson to set up a 6-on-4. Pageau spoiled the strategy with his seventh shorthanded goal of the season at 11:33 to give Ottawa a 5-1 lead. Smith scored a shorthanded empty-net goal at 14:29.
Video: Sens take control in 2nd, cruise past Bruins