OTTAWA - Tuukka Rask stopped 39 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
Ottawa native Ryan Spooner scored twice for the Bruins (34-22-10), who won their third straight. Loui Eriksson added the other.
Matt Puempel scored for Ottawa (30-24-11) as Craig Anderson faced 22 shots in his second straight start after missing 17 games.
The loss was Ottawa's first in regulation since Feb. 16 and ended a nine-game points streak where Ottawa went 8-0-1 to get back into the playoff race.
Boston extended its lead over Ottawa to seven points for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Senators have a game in hand and the two teams meet for the final time March 19.
Despite being outshot 21-10, Boston took a 3-0 lead in the second period.
Boston opened the scoring on the power play early in the second as Spooner was left all alone in front and beat Anderson to the far side.
The Bruins made it 2-0 at the 15-minute mark as Eriksson made a move around Cody Ceci, then waited for Anderson to bite before scoring his 17th of the season.
Just over one minute later Boston made it 3-0 as Spooner scored his second of the game. He took a pass from Milan Lucic and put it in at the side of the net.
The Senators had a number of solid chances but Rask was perfect on every occasion and got help as Ottawa hit the post three times in the second.
Puempel ended Rask's shutout bid with his first NHL goal at the eight-minute mark of the third, taking a shot off the end boards and putting it past the Boston goalie.
Notes: Defenceman Jared Cowen and centre Colin Greening were healthy scratches. Forward Clarke MacArthur and goalie Robin Lehner remain sidelined with concussions. The Senators were also without defenceman Chris Phillips (wear and tear), forward Chris Neil (fractured thumb) and centre Zack Smith (fractured wrist). The Bruins were minus forwards David Krejci and Brett Connolly and defenceman Kevan Millar. Right-wingers Brett Connolly and Brian Ferlin were healthy scratches.