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Senators try to bounce back against Bruins

by Mike Battaglino

BRUINS (12-5-1) at SENATORS (7-7-4)


Last 10: Boston 6-3-1; Ottawa 4-4-2

Season series: This is the first of four games; the teams play a home-and-home Dec. 27-28. The Boston Bruins won the first four last season, all by one goal, one in overtime, one in a shootout. The Ottawa Senators won the fifth game 4-2.

Big story: Ottawa coach Paul MacLean is hopeful the competitive nature of previous games against Boston will give his team a lift after a three-game winning streak ended with a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

"I think they're a type of team that brings out the best in us," MacLean told the Senators website. "We anticipate that they're going to be a real good test for us coming off of what happened to us the other night. Playing the Bruins I think is a good thing for our emotional level and our intensity level."

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston starts a three-game road trip after completing a 4-0-1 homestand with a 3-2 overtime win Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. That stretch followed four losses in five games.

"I think we kind of beared down after that last loss, and I think we had a few tough practices, and I think we all really just got back to working hard and keeping it a little more simple," forward Brad Marchand told NESN. "We know we have to better. We have a really good team in here and we want to live up to our expectations, so I think we're coming around."

Tuukka Rask will be in goal after Chad Johnson made 32 saves Thursday.

Senators: Starting goaltender Craig Anderson returned Tuesday and gave up five goals on 31 shots. It was his first game since Nov. 3, when he left in overtime against the Dallas Stars after a collision with Valeri Nichushkin.

Robin Lehner won three in a row in place of Anderson, and has a 2-2-2 record and .952 save percentage against Boston since the 2011-12 season. Anderson is 0-3-0 with an .860 save percentage against the Bruins since then.

"The success of how [Robin] has played, how both have played, we're giving all the information all of our consideration," MacLean said Thursday. He announced Friday morning Anderson would be in net against the Bruins.

Ottawa had picked up a point in five straight games (3-0-2) before the loss to Philadelphia. The Senators had 20 giveaways to the Flyers' five.

"These last two practices are much like a lot of other practices have been this year as far as breaking pucks out and being in the right spots," MacLean said. "We're going to continue to do that until we're better at it. We don't know if we're better at it until we play the game tomorrow, but we certainly expect to be getting better."

Who's hot: The Bruins have killed 26 consecutive opposition power plays. The line of Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson and Marchand have combined for five goals, 10 points and a plus-8 rating in their past four games. Rookie defenseman Torey Krug is on a five-game point streak. … Senators forward Bobby Ryan had 10 points in a six-game point streak that ended Tuesday. Forward Kyle Turris had 10 in a seven-game streak.

Injury report: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (right hip/groin) is day-to-day. … Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips (undisclosed) will return to the lineup after sitting out Tuesday. Forward Erik Condra (leg) could return Sunday.

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