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Thomas's 31 saves help Bruins win fifth straight, beat Senators 2-1 @NHLdotcom

BOSTON - Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots and the Boston Bruins moved within one victory of clinching the best record in the Eastern Conference, beating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Milan Lucic and Marc Savard scored for Boston, which would clinch home ice through the conference finals with its next victory or the Washington Capitals' next loss. The Bruins were one point behind West-leading San Jose for the best overall record, pending the Sharks' game against Edmonton later Thursday.

Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa, and Alex Auld made 31 saves.

The Bruins killed off a 6-on-4 in the final 1:55 when Mark Recchi was called for high-sticking and the Senators pulled the goalie for an extra man. Ottawa had a flurry of shots down the stretch before an interference penalty against them evened things up with 2.7 seconds left.

Alfredsson gave the Senators the lead when he took a pass from Jason Spezza and put it over Thomas' right shoulder just 5:23 into the game. Lucic tied it with his slap shot 2:27 into the second.

Boston broke the tie in the third when P.J. Axelsson stole Brendan Bell's clearing attempt and backhanded it over to the slot for Savard, who put a wrist shot past Auld with 16:58 to play. Savard has two goals and four assists in his last five games.

Notes: David Krejci, a 22-year-old forward who has 22 goals and 50 assists, was named the winner of the Bruins' Seventh Player award for going above and beyond the call of duty and exceed the expectations of Bruins fans. He got a pickup truck. ... The Bruins signed F Yannick Riendeau to an entry-level contract. ... Bruins F Patrice Bergeron played his 300th game. ... Boston was held without a power play goal for the first time in five games.

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